Problems with your heat pump mean that your indoor comfort will be compromised until the issue is corrected. In the worst cases, it could also mean potential damage to your heat pump and its components. Here are some common types of heat pump problems and what they will mean for you.
- Ice or frost on heat pump: The outdoor coils of the heat pump are usually cold when the system is providing indoor heating. This means that frost and ice are likely to build up on the coils, especially during wet or humid weather. If the frost and ice build-up becomes extreme, it could mean that the defrost cycle isn’t working properly. This will usually require service from your trusted HVAC contractor to fix.
- Outdoor unit is producing steam: During a normal defrost cycle, the heat pump temporarily shifts to cooling function to allow hot refrigerant to circulate through the outdoor coils. As built-up frost or ice melts away from the coils, steam could be produced. This steam could also look like smoke. Check the outdoor unit; if the misty material is steam and not smoke, it’s nothing to worry about.
- Heat pump isn’t working: Several issues could cause a heat pump to not function. Make sure the unit is plugged in and receiving power. Check circuit breakers to make sure the ones controlling the heat pump have not tripped. Make sure the programmable thermostat is set to heating or cooling, as appropriate, and that the temperature setting is correct for the season. If checking these factor doesn’t work, call your service technician for help.
- Heat pump is making unusual noises: A heat pump will typically produce little noise, but sounds such as humming, buzzing, or release of pressure will be normal. Sounds other than these, especially banging, scraping, or vibration sounds, could indicate a serious problem that needs attention.
Gartner Heating & Cooling has been serving HVAC customers in Chicago and its northern suburbs for almost 30 years. Contact us today for more information on troubleshooting heat pump problems and what to do when your heat pump isn’t working properly.
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