Heat pumps are one of the more efficient solutions in the HVAC world. These systems, however, need to operate within relatively tight specifications to deliver those results. Consequently, scheduling heat pump services quickly when you know there's a problem can save you money and grief. You can tell repairs are in the system's near future by looking for these five signs that something's wrong.
Weak or No Airflow
Steady airflow is a key factor in a heat pump's efficiency. If the air isn't flowing very well, some system is having trouble.
Fortunately, the common airflow issues in heat pumps are all relatively simple fixes. There could be a clogged filter, and all a technician has to do is replace it. Likewise, the coils could be dirty, and that usually just calls for a cleaning. Sometimes a fan or relay has failed, and the technician has to swap up the buggy component.
Reduced Heating or Cooling Capacity
This is where a heat pump repair technician becomes very necessary. If the system's output has dropped noticeably, the heat pump may run on long cycles or consume more electricity. The potential culprits tend to be difficult fixes, such as repairing or replacing the compressor or restoring the refrigerant levels. Each of those is a job where you have to access the refrigerant system, and you should leave that to a licensed professional.
All systems get noisier as they age. However, the noises shouldn't be noticeably bad ones like squealing, grinding, crunching, or thumping. If the heat pump is making worrisome noises, contact a technician. They can check for damaged moving parts like fans or motors.
Exchanging heat has a tendency to produce cool zones on the components. These do get frosty from time to time during periods of intense operation, such as during a major heat wave. The components should not, however, accumulate ice. Each down cycle should be enough to let the ice melt and evaporate.
If you see accumulating ice on any component, there could be a problem with the refrigerant, coils, filter, or fans. With the exception of checking the filter, these are all jobs for a pro.
The system might also turn on briefly and then go off before completing a full cycle. Short cycling can indicate an electrical issue, a failing thermostat, a damaged compressor, or a clogged filter. If you've ruled out the filter, then it's time to speak with a heat pump repair services contractor.