Today, more homeowners than ever in Wendell, NC rely on heat pumps to keep their houses warm in the winter. Since heat pumps aren’t the same as traditional heating systems, though, homeowners need to watch for different signs of trouble. Here are five common heat pump problems to watch for this winter.
1. An Outdoor Unit Covered in Ice
Since heat pumps extract heat from the outside air to heat your home, their outdoor units must always remain operational. In the winter, ice can build up on your heat pump’s outdoor unit and impede its operation. That in and of itself isn’t unusual, however.
Heat pumps typically have a de-icing feature that detects ice buildup on the outdoor unit before it becomes a problem. When they do, the system will reverse its operations to heat the outdoor unit and melt the ice. If your heat pump’s outdoor unit isn’t showing signs of defrosting, however, something might be wrong.
2. Blocked or Inadequate Drainage
Even in the winter, your heat pump needs to drain accumulated moisture away from its outdoor coils. It’s one of the ways that heat pumps prevent the kind of icing described above. If anything blocks your heat pump’s drainage outlet, it won’t take long to cause a problem.
The best way to prevent this issue is to make certain your heat pump’s outdoor unit is on level ground. You’ll also want to keep snow, debris, and plant matter away from it to allow moisture to drain from the unit. If you don’t, your heat pump may unexpectedly shut down to protect itself from damage.
3. Inadequate Heat Production
It’s not unusual for heat pumps to produce air that’s not as hot as what you would get with a traditional furnace. That’s one of the things that new heat pump owners have to adjust to during their first heating season. But sometimes, a lack of heat production signifies a problem.
When the temperature drops below 30 degrees Fahrenheit, most heat pumps begin to lose efficiency. That’s because it’s harder to extract heat from the progressively colder outdoor air. This is why most heat pump systems include an auxiliary heating function to augment their performance on the coldest days.
If your heat pump struggles to maintain the desired indoor temperature, you could have a problem with the auxiliary heater. Or another issue may be preventing the system from extracting sufficient heat from the outdoor air.
4. A Constantly Running Heat Pump
Unless it’s extremely cold out, your heat pump shouldn’t have to run very often to keep your home warm. So, if you notice your heat pump running frequently or failing to turn off, it might have a problem. Sometimes, the issue is as simple as too much cold air entering your home for your heat pump to handle.
If that’s not the case, you might have a problem with your system’s thermostat. Alternatively, you might need to clean or replace the air filter. Either way, a constantly running heat pump is something to look out for to avoid unnecessary wear and tear.
5. A Heat Pump That Won’t Turn On
Another problem you might experience in the winter is a heat pump that won’t turn on. Needless to say, this is a problem that demands immediate attention. The first thing to check is that none of the circuit breakers powering your heat pump have tripped.
If the cause of the problem isn’t obvious, one of two things may be happening. The heat pump is remaining off to protect itself, or it’s malfunctioning in a way that’s not immediately obvious. Either way, you’ll want to call in an expert heat pump technician to find and fix the problem.
The most important thing to do if you experience one of the heat pump problems above is not to panic. Heat pumps are robust and reliable machines. Most of these problems aren’t difficult to solve.
Our expert technicians can help you keep your Wendell, NC home’s heat pump running season after season. We’ve been the area’s go-to provider of HVAC installation, maintenance, and repair services since 1982. So, when you need reliable heat pump service, no matter the season, call us at Airmakers Heating & Cooling, LLC.
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