Heat pumps are great for a number of reasons. They’re energy efficient, environmentally safe, and can provide both heating and cooling functions. Like all HVAC systems, however, they are susceptible to the occasional problem that will require professional repairs. The faster you can respond to these problems, the better shape your heat pump will be in. So, let’s take a look at 3 of the common heat pump problems that you need to watch for.
Stuck in Heating or Cooling Mode
The heat pump is able to switch between heating and cooling mode by reversing the flow of refrigerant through the system. It does this with a part called the “reversing valve.” The valve is a 4-way junction in the system, through which all refrigerant flows on its way to either the inside or outside unit. Inside the valve is a slide that moves back in forth to control the refrigerant flow. In the first position, the heat pump is in one mode, and in the second it moves to the other. It is possible for the slide to become stuck in the valve, or for the solenoid that controls the slide to lose its charge. If that happens, then the heat pump will become trapped in one mode.
A heat pump is similar to an air conditioner, in that refrigerant is vital to its operation. If a leak develops in the refrigerant line, it can drain the system of so much refrigerant that it can no longer function. If you notice liquid pooling around your heat pump, a gurgling sound when it’s running, or a loss of output, you may have a refrigerant leak.
Worn Out Bearings
Just like a furnace or air conditioner, a heat pump has an air handler that circulates air throughout the house. The air handler motor is equipped with a number of lubricated bearings that make it easier for the motor to operate. When the bearings start to wear out, the strain on the motor increases. Eventually, the motor overheats and burns out. If you hear a grinding sound coming from your heat pump, it means the bearings are starting to give out. Turn it off and have it checked by a professional immediately.
If your heat pump is having problems, call Switzerland Air. We provide heat pump services throughout Lake Jackson, TX.