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3 Sure Signs of a Heat Pump in Trouble

heat-pump-ventHere in Bergen County, it’s no secret that temperatures get quite chilly in the winter. As such, we rely on our heating systems heavily, to keep us warm, comfortable, and even healthy all season long. If you’re using a heat pump for your heating needs this season, you know its benefits—it is versatile, highly efficient, and very effective—so long as it is well cared for.

By that, we mean that in order to avoid surprise heating repair in Bergen County, NJ, and other heat pump problems, you’ll want to make sure you schedule maintenance for the system twice a year. Yes, usually for heaters we recommend once-yearly maintenance. But since your heat pump is used for both your heating and cooling needs, it needs to be checked twice a year, for year-round comfort.

With or without maintenance, of course, your heat pump may run into trouble. The following 3 signs mean trouble for your heat pump, and should be remedied ASAP:

1.     Clogged Air Filter

We never recommend that homeowners try to perform full maintenance on their HVAC systems by themselves. This could do more harm than good, plus it can result in injury. There is, however, at least one very small maintenance task we do encourage our customers to perform on their own, and that’s changing the air filter.

There’s a common misconception that the air filter is there to protect indoor air quality. While it certainly helps with indoor air quality, it’s actual purpose is to protect the interior components of the heat pump. If the air filter gets too clogged up, it restricts airflow and essentially causes the heat pump to work longer and harder than it should have to.

Changing your air filter every 1-3 months during system use is one of the best ways to avoid uncomfortable and costly heat pump problems.

2.     Thermostat Malfunction

Whether it’s a clogged air filter or a thermostat that isn’t calibrated correctly, sometimes the cause of your heat pump troubles isn’t inside the actual heat pump at all. The thermostat serves as the “brain” of your heat pump system, signaling to it when to turn on and shut off. It also signals to it when to switch the reversing valve from cooling to heating and vice versa.

If there is something wrong with your thermostat then your heat pump may not cycle on when it’s supposed to, or it may not run long enough to actually sustain the level of heat you’re requesting from it. Thermostat problems are relatively minor for our techs to fix, but it’s important you call right away to avoid the adverse effects than could come from an inefficient heat pump.

3.     Refrigerant Leak

Something that makes heat pumps different from furnaces is that heat pumps don’t generate heat. They move heat, through a refrigerant process. This is what makes them so incredibly energy efficient. But there’s a common misconception that refrigerant is something that must be refilled—what those of us in the industry call recharged—on a regular basis. But the truth is, if your heat pump is losing refrigerant it means there is a leak that needs to be located and repaired.

A refrigerant leak will disable your heat pump from being able to absorb and transfer heat as it’s meant to. If this goes on long enough, irreversible damage can occur. If you suspect a refrigerant leak, the best thing you can do is call a pro for an inspection.

DB Heating & Cooling, Inc serves the heating and cooling needs of customers throughout Rockland County, NY as well as Bergen County, NJ and surrounding communities. You can count on us for expert services. Contact us today!

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