Know when the worst possible time is for your heat pump to start malfunctioning? In the middle of a record-breaking season for low temperatures. Guess what, though? That’s exactly when your heat pump is most likely to start having issues. The added strain you put on your heating system by using it more often increases the chances of problems developing with it as the winter goes on. You should be able to identify the warning signs that your heat pump is experiencing a problem, so that you can have it repaired as quickly as possible. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest warning signs that your heat pump needs to be repaired.
Frozen Outdoor Unit
You shouldn’t necessarily panic if you find ice on the outdoor unit of your heat pump. The process of siphoning thermal energy from the air around the coil causes condensation to form on it, which then freezes. However, the heat pump should have a defrost cycle that kicks in periodically in order to melt off all the ice. If the unit is completely encased in ice, it might mean that the defrost cycle has malfunctioned. If the heat pump becomes totally covered in ice, it won’t be able to properly heat your home. Make sure that you call a professional to check out the system if you feel the ice buildup necessitates concern.
Any fluid you find dripping from your heat pump should be examined as soon as possible by a professional technician. If a refrigerant leak is robbing the system of output, it will only continue to get worse until it isn’t found and patched. At some point, the refrigerant level will drop so low that the heat pump will break down entirely.
If you hear your heat pump turning itself on and off every couple of minutes, you should call for repairs as soon as possible. That’s a problem called short cycling, which both cuts down on system output and increases the rate at which parts wear down. A heat pump that is left to short cycle for a long period of time will break down much more often, and have its lifespan shortened as a result. Do not let this problem continue after you discover it.
Clogged Air Filter
If your heat pump seems to be struggling to blow enough air, it might be because you have a clogged air filter. The air filter is meant to protect the heat pump from the kinds of contaminants commonly found in the ducts of a home. If the filter isn’t replaced often enough, though, it will become clogged and prevent the system from circulating enough air. You should make sure that you change your air filter at least once every three months or so if you want to make sure that it doesn’t become clogged.