We still have a few weeks before we get anything close to a consistent pattern of warm weather. Businesses across the state are still running their heating systems during work hours to keep their employees from freezing solid. Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but it’s still pretty cold. If you are trying to use your commercial heat pump to keep your building warm, and it isn’t delivering, there could be a couple of different reasons why.
This one is pretty unlikely this late in the season, but it can happen. Heat pumps evaporate refrigerant to draw thermal energy from the air around the outdoor unit. That thermal energy is then vented inside the building to heat it. Evaporating refrigerant has two effects: it causes condensation to form on the coil, and the temperature around the coil drops. If the process is enough to drop the temperature around the coil below freezing, then the coil can ice over. A frozen coil has no access to the air around it and so can’t siphon any heat to release inside the building. Normally, heat pumps are outfitted with defrost cycles to prevent this from happening. It’s possible for the defrost cycle to malfunction, though.
There’s a Refrigerant Leak
As we mentioned above, refrigerant is the fluid necessary for the heat pump to do its job. It is not consumed, but is instead recycled back and forth through the system. A refrigerant leak will slowly rob the commercial heat pump of output, as the falling fluid levels mean less is available for the system to use for heating. If you notice any fluid dripping from the system, you should call for repairs right away. If the leak is not fixed, and the lost fluid replaced, the system will eventually break down entirely.
The Air Handler is Malfunctioning
The air handler is the part of the heat pump responsible for circulating air throughout the building while the system is running. It’s basically a large motor with a fan attached to it. Air handlers are subjected to a lot of strain while operating, and it’s not unheard of for them to fail after years of use. If your commercial heat pump doesn’t seem to be blowing any air while it’s on, then you likely have an air handler problem.
There’s an Electrical Issue
This one’s a bit harder to diagnose without professional tools, as it can be located in a few different spots in the system. Commercial heat pumps can occasionally develop electrical issues that prevent them from operating properly. It could be that the wiring between the thermostat and the system has a short somewhere. It’s also possible that something inside the system itself is not relaying signals properly. You’ll need to have a technician test the system to tell for certain.
EMI Mechanical provides a full range of industrial heating services in Byram, MS. If you need help getting your commercial heat pump back into working order, contact us today to schedule an appointment.