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Heat Pump Problems to Watch for This Fall

heat-pump-repairWe’re finally getting out of summer and into fall, though that doesn’t mean the weather will cool of right away. When you finally do start to use your heating system, though, it’s important to make sure that you keep an eye out for any sign that it’s having problems. If you’re using a heat pump to warm your home through the next few months, there are a few signs you should watch out for that it needs repairs.

Refrigerant Leaks

A heat pump is able to heat a home the same way that an air conditioner cools it. The system evaporates refrigerant in its outdoor unit to gather ambient thermal energy from outside, then condenses it back into liquid to release the collected heat inside the home. As is the case with other refrigerant-based climate control systems, the heat pump doesn’t consume refrigerant. It simply recycles it back and forth to operate. A heat pump should not need any more refrigerant beyond what it is installed with. A refrigerant leak, though, can ruin that model.

As the refrigerant is drained from the heat pump, its ability to properly heat the home will fail, as well. At some point, the refrigerant level in the heat pump can drop so low that the system will fail entirely. If you notice fluid dripping from your system, you should call for repairs as soon as you can.

Clogged Air Filter

Heat pump systems include an air filter, which sits in the return duct and protect against contamination by particles commonly found in the home’s ducts. Some of these particles include things like dander, pollen, and dust. While the filter is quite good at blocking these kinds of contaminants from getting into the system, it has no way of ridding itself of the contaminants it collects.

If the filter is not changed every three months, it can become clogged. This blocks much of the air flowing through the ducts from making it into the heat pump, causing it to lose output capacity. The good news is that this is easily fixed. Just change your air filter every three months, or contact a professional to have them do it for you.

Short Cycling

One of the most dangerous problems that can afflict a heat pump system is short cycling. This is when your system starts to turn itself on and off at rapid intervals, usually every couple of minutes. The most common cause of this kind of problem is some sort of electrical issue, though something like a damaged compressor can also cause it.

Short cycling cuts down on the system’s ability to heat the home, since it can’t complete a full cycle. However, the bigger issue is how much more strain the heat pump puts on the system. A short cycling heat pump will need repairs far more often, and will need to be replaced potentially years earlier, than a heat pump that isn’t short cycling. Make sure you call for repairs immediately if you notice this issue.

Environment Masters, Inc. offers a full range of heat pump repair services in Ridgeland, MS. If you need your heat pump repaired at all, contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our experts.

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