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5 Common Issues With Heat Pumps

Heat pumps work much like air conditioners, and they will often run into the same problems that ACs have. They also have a few unique problems because of their ability to work as both heating and cooling systems. Below, we’ve put together a list of five common heat pump problems you might encounter. This will help you recognize them.

No matter the trouble you run into, you can find the heat pump repair in Eugene, OR you need with our team. You can reach us 24-hours a day.

#1 – Stuck Reversing Valve

The reversing valve is the key component that allows your heat pump to work as both a heating and cooling system. The valve controls which direction refrigerant flows after it leaves the compressor. The valve can become stuck in one position, and the signal from the thermostat to change modes won’t cause it to activate and switch between heating and cooling. When your heat pump won’t turn to the mode you want, a stuck reversing valve is a strong possibility. Technicians can replace the valve to fix this.

#2 – Defrost Control Problems

During winter, a heat pump absorbs heat through its outdoor coil to move indoors. This process causes water moisture to form along the coil, where it can freeze during cold weather. To prevent ice along the coils from restricting the operation of the heat pump, the unit enters into a defrost mode that will temporarily cause the coils to release heat and melt the ice. A failure in the defrost controls will often lead to ice over the coils and the heat pump to lose efficiency. If you see ice collecting on the outdoor coil, call for repairs.

#3 – Short-Cycling

This refers to when a heat pump becomes trapped in its start-up mode and never finishes a complete cooling or heating cycle. Normally, one of these cycles will last for around 10–15 minutes. When short-cycling, the cycles will last far less and come more frequently, with the heat pump cycling on and off multiple times an hour. Short-cycling not only puts immense strain on the heat pump and wastes power, but it also indicates an underlying malfunction (leaking refrigerant, failing compressor) that needs to be diagnosed and repaired.

#4 – Hard Starting

Like a car, a heat pump’s main “engine” (the motor to the compressor) can have trouble starting. This is called hard starting, and it drains extra energy and can cause damage to the compressor. A dead compressor is the last thing you want with your heat pump, so call technicians to see what’s wrong. In some cases, replacing a failing capacitor will work. In others, technicians can attach a special hard start kit that will give the compressor an extra boost to get started.

#5 – Refrigerant Leaks

Loss of refrigerant is a major problem because a heat pump is designed to work at a specific amount (known as its charge) of refrigeration—too much or too little will negatively affect the entire operation of the heat pump, eventually leading to the compressor overheating and burning out. If you notice hissing noises, discover ice on the indoor coil, or find the heat pump can’t warm up the house enough, you may need to have professionals locate the leaks, seal them, and recharge the unit.

Contact Associated Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc. today for heat pump repairs and other services. 

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