You Don't Have To Make The Same Mistakes

I always took my home's heating and cooling system for granted. That is until I found myself battling one of the hottest days in years and my air conditioner simply refused to turn on. After contacting my local HVAC contractor, I learned that my cooling coils had frozen over from a lack of maintenance. He did get my AC back up and running that day, but he also helped me to look at my heating and cooling system in a whole new light. I have spent a lot of time over the last few years learning more about how to properly maintain my HVAC system and ultimately lower my energy costs. Today, I would like to share this knowledge with you so that I can help you to avoid some of the costly mistakes I have made in the past.

3 Common Summertime Issues Faced By Heat Pump Owners

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If you've recently installed a heat pump, then chances are you're enjoying the excellent cooling efficiency and energy savings that these systems have to offer. While most heat pumps are designed to operate year-round without any major problems, there may be a few annoyances you'll run into over the course of ownership.

The following describes three of the most common issues heat pump owners face during the summer cooling season:

Experiencing A Deep Freeze

Contrary to popular belief, your heat pump does not create cooler air. Instead, it uses its refrigerant to absorb the latent heat from the surrounding air and transfer it outdoors. This action also pulls some of the latent moisture out of the air in the form of condensation. It's no wonder that air conditioners and heat pumps often make for effective dehumidifiers.

In the event that the temperature of the refrigerant dips below 32 degrees Fahrenheit (water's freezing point), the condensation that normally drips off of the coils can become frozen instead. Ice build-up blocks air from flowing through the rest of the coil, causing more ice to form until the system eventually stops working.

Severe heat pump freeze-ups are usually caused by low refrigerant levels. A drop in refrigerant levels causes pressure drops throughout the system, lowering the refrigerant's temperature below freezing. The loss of refrigerant itself could be caused by a leak somewhere within the lines, compressor or coils. An experienced HVAC technician is best suited to perform the necessary troubleshooting and repairs for this particular problem.

Making A Racket

Your heat pump is also designed to run as smoothly and silently as possible. Hearing the following noises from your heat pump could signal problems to come later on:

  • Humming or buzzing noises: These noises usually occur when the fan motor is unable to spin properly. A faulty capacitor or a stuck contactor or relay can also produce buzzing or humming sounds.
  • High-pitched squealing: This noise is common to screw compressors at start-up, but a constant squealing sound could also signal the beginnings of a motor failure.
  • Metallic banging noises: Loose motor mounts and worn compressor bearings can cause loud, metallic banging noises within the heat pump.
  • Popping or tumbling noises: This occurs when liquid refrigerant enters the compressor while it's running. It's an issue that should be checked out by your HVAC technician.
  • Hissing noises: Your system has a refrigerant leak and should be patched up as quickly as possible.

If you hear any of the above noises, the best thing to do is to turn the system off until your HVAC technician can take a look at the problem.

One noise you won't have to worry about is the sound your heat pump makes as it transitions into defrost mode. This sound is normal, but it's often mistaken as a problem by ordinary homeowners.

Out-Of-Service

If you find your heat pump completely non-functional, then chances are there's an electrical interruption somewhere within the system. The first place you should check is your circuit breaker box. Take a look at the circuit breaker assigned for your heat pump and make sure it hasn't tripped. If so, reset the circuit breaker and make sure your heat pump is receiving power.

If the circuit breaker trips again, you'll want to have your HVAC technician take a close look at the heat pump's electrical system for any faults, shorts or improper connections. Even the most skilled DIYer might have a bit of trouble trying to examine a heat pump's electrical work, so it's better to have a trained and experienced technician examine the potential cause of the problem. For more information, visit a website like http://www.aabsoluteplumbing.com.

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12 March 2015