Heat pumps, like most mechanical systems, will have problems once in a while. Understanding what the most common problems are and what you can do about them is a part of heat pump ownership.
Common Heat Pump Issues
- Ice forming on the heat pump – To heat the inside of your home, the outside unit keeps a constant temperature well below the freezing point of 32 degrees. This cold temperature will turn any moisture on the surface of the outside unit into frost, which is normal. To prevent too much frost buildup, the heat pump will go through a defrost cycle. But if frost continues to build up on your home’s heat pump, the defrost cycle may not be working and needs professional attention.
- Steam rising from the heat pump – When the heat pump goes through a defrost cycle, it will heat up the outdoor coils. This rapid heating often turns the built-up frost into vapor. That vapor rises through the air, making it look like the outside unit is steaming. This is totally normal and no cause for concern.
- No part of the heat pump system is working – This is usually the sign of an electrical problem. Check the breakers to see if any of them have tripped and verify that the thermostat has power and is set to an appropriate temperature.
- Odd noises coming from the heat pump – If you hear banging, clanging, scraping or loud vibrations, the heat pump is having real problems. Turn the entire system off and call an HVAC professional immediately.
- Auxiliary heat keeps coming on – Heat pumps use back-up heating elements to supplement normal heating operations on cold days. You may see the auxiliary heat light go on occasionally on those days. If you’re seeing that light on when the weather isn’t so cold, you may have a problem with the heat pump’s normal heating mechanism.
If you run into heat pump issues that you can’t troubleshoot yourself, call in the experts at Senica Air Conditioning, Inc., Inc.
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