Heat pumps are considered a cost effective, viable alternative to conventional heating and cooling systems. They operate on the same basic principles as an air conditioner, using refrigerant gas to absorb heat and transfer it. Unlike conventional heating systems which require fuel combustion to generate heat, a heat pump can be used to heat and cool your home using minimal electricity. Heat pumps are an excellent choice for homes in geographic areas with mild winters and offer excellent energy efficiency, but this doesn’t mean that they are maintenance free. Here we will explore compressor problems and what you can do to resolve them.
Heat pump compressor problems can be tricky, which makes spotting the warning signs important. Homeowners who are alert to the common compressor problems will have the opportunity to call in a professional HVAC specialist for a repair before the problem develops further and causes a system breakdown.
The most common problem is frequent cycling. This symptom of a problem is not unique to heat pumps and can be seen on conventional heating systems. Frequent cycling is the industry term for the system frequently turning on and off throughout the day. If an electrical problem has developed inside the compressor, it may lead to this occurring. A heat pump uses the majority of its electrical consumption during start up and turning off, which means that it needs to run for at least 15 to 20 minutes each time to minimize energy wastage. If you do notice that your system is turning on and off in quick succession, it is important that you have it checked. If the problem is left unresolved, it can cause additional wear and tear and could compromise the lifespan of the equipment.
Drop in Performance:
Another sign of a compressor problem in your heat pump system is that there has been a loss of cooling or heating capacity. Your compressor relies on a certain system pressure being maintained to perform correctly. If the pressure is too low due to a leak or other underlying issue, it will interfere with the cooling and heating process, and reduce the overall efficiency of the unit. This means that homeowners should be alert for a drop in performance. If you think that your heat pump isn’t heating or cooling your home like it used to, it is worth having the compressor checked for a leak or fault.
If there is a fault in the compressor motor, you will find it unlikely that you will be able to start your compressor. In the majority of cases, a failure of the compressor to start will mean that your heat pump will not function. In some models, the fan may still be running when the system is switched on, but if you check the vents, you will find that the air coming out will not be cooled or heated.
Getting to know your heat pump will allow you to spot potential compressor problems and other malfunctions in the system. If you are alert to the early signs of an issue, it provides an opportunity to call in your HVAC professional and have the issue corrected before it can develop into a major problem. This will not only help to keep your home comfortable, but it could save you money on your repair bills.