If you’ve ever had the operation of a heat pump explained to you, then you’ll know how similar it is to an air conditioner. Essentially, a heat pump works the same as an AC—it cycles chemical refrigerant through an indoor and outdoor set of coils, absorbing heat along one coil and releasing it from the other—but with the major difference that a heat pump can change the direction of its heat exchange. An air conditioning system can only remove heat from indoors and deposit it outdoors; a heat pump can also move heat from outdoors and bring it indoors.
Homeowners are sometimes interested in what makes repairs different between the two systems. We’ll look into this and see where the two stand apart as far as fixing malfunctions.
If you need heat pump or air conditioning repair in St. Augustine, FL, come to the experienced team at Climate Masters, where we’ve worked on both since 1988.
The differences in heat pump and AC repair
For the most part, repairing an air conditioner and a heat pump are similar. The compressors, fans, capacitors, and motors work in the same fashion, and replacing these broken components is identical between the two systems.
One of the big differences is that heat pumps contain a key component that air conditioners lack: a reversing valve. This device is attached to the line exiting the compressor; as refrigerant leaves the compressor, it first enters the reversing valve. Depending on whether the valve is in an excited or relaxed state (whether an electric current is flowing through it or not), the refrigerant will either move first to the outdoor coils or the indoor coils. If the refrigerant goes outdoors first, the heat pump will operate in cooling mode; if the refrigerant goes indoors first, the heat pump will operate in heating mode. Should the reversing valve fail, it must be replaced or the heat pump will remain fixed in one mode. Air conditioners do not need this repair.
Heat pumps can develop frost over either their outdoor or indoor coil due to loss of refrigerant, while an AC will only experience this on its indoor coil. The actual repair work is similar in both cases, however.
Another important repair difference: heat pumps work more per year than ACs. If a heat pump is your only method of heating your home, then it will run in both hot and cold weather. With regular maintenance (and a heat pump does require maintenance twice a year, not once) you shouldn’t have too many repairs, but in general a heat pump will have more repair needs than an AC system.
An important similarity: both need professionals to work on them
No matter what problems afflict your heat pump or air conditioning system, they need a trained technician to fix them. Don’t attempt the work yourself or hand it off to amateurs. For heat pump and air conditioning repair in St. Augustine, FL, you can trust in Climate Masters. We have 24-hour emergency service for your convenience.