Heat pumps are just as susceptible to issues as any other system, and just like any other system they are most susceptible to problems during the winter. If you’re using a heat pump to keep warm this winter, you should know the signs that your system is in need of repairs. Otherwise, your heat pump may unexpectedly break down in the middle of one of the coldest months of the year. In order to prevent that from happening, let’s take a look at some of the common problems that can afflict heat pumps and the symptoms that come with them.
Heat pumps are not combustion systems; they don’t burn fuel for heat. Instead, they evaporate and condense refrigerant to exchange heat between the home and the outside. The refrigerant in the system is not consumed, but is endlessly recycled while the system is operating. If a leak develops in the refrigerant line, though, it will drain the system of the fluid it needs to operate properly. This will lead to a steady loss of output, followed by a series of individual parts malfunctioning until the entire system breaks down. Call for repairs if you notice any of these symptoms, especially if accompanied by liquid dripping from the system.
Broken Air Handler
Just like any forced air system, a heat pump uses an air handler to circulate air throughout the house. The system is put under quite a bit of stress by this process, so it uses lubricated bearings to reduce the friction on the motor. These bearings will wear down over time, though, causing the friction on the system to spike and creating a grinding sound. If the bearings are not replaced, the air handler will eventually burn itself out. Call for repairs if you hear a loud grinding sound coming from your heat pump.