Mini-split, portable, and window air conditioners are all good examples of ductless heat pumps that are used well in modern homes. They operate independently of a duct system. Compared to ducted systems, they are highly popular due to their many advantages.
Every appliance occasionally experiences issues, and heat pumps are no exception. Let's go over some of the typical heat pump issues and discover solutions.
The 9 Most Common Heat Pump Problems
Heat Pump Running Constantly
Incorrect Thermostat Setup or Rules:
You may find your thermostat is set too high or to low and the heat pump may be attempting to achieve an impossible temperature.
In the winter, you can set your thermostat between 67F and 73F, and in the summer you can set the thermostat to 78F to best optimize a comfortable setting without running your HVAC solution 24 hours a day.
Air Filters Are Dirty
Check your air filters every 3 months to ensure they are clean and allowing your heat pump and HVAC unit to run efficiently.
Compressor Contact Issues
Compressor contacts are small devices that control electricity to all the components; if this fails, you may find your heat pump will run constantly. Contact a licensed HVAC professional to diagnose any issues.
Heat Pump Is The Wrong Size
A tell-tale sign that your heat pump is the wrong size is when your heat pump then runs without stopping. An underpowered heat pump will work harder and use more energy to try to match the desired temperature. Have a licensed HVAC professional assess your heat pump size for your demands.
Heat Pump Will Not Turn On
Like your pump running constantly, one that will not turn one can be caused by thermostat issues; check if your thermostat has adequate power.
Each unit has their own specific power source with separate switches (in most cases) - Check the power switches first, then if no resolution check the switch near the unit. If neither of these solve a power loss issue, check your electrical panel or call a licensed electrician to assess.
Registers May Be Closed
If you have registers that can open and close, check for obstructions or furniture that is blocking the vent from pumping heat or cooling into your living areas.
Least common but important to check is when your starter is faulty; listen for a dull clicking noise neat the motor of your pump . If this breaks, your heat pump will not turn on and you will need professional help.
Outdoor Unit Is Frozen/Inoperable
Outdoor Unit Is Blocked
If too much snow, ice or other buildup has block the required airflow for the unity to operate. Spray water from a hose to gradually melt the ice in temperatures that are not freezing.
Any leak in refrigerant will cause the heat transfer to effectively stop adequate operation of your unity. If you suspect a leak, ask a licensed professional to assess and fix.
Dirty coils, clogged filters
Coils need to be clear of dirt and grime to effecitvely transfer heat to the air. Remove while the unit is off to ensure safe cleaning. Likewise, clogged filters restrict airflow and will cause them to freeze over. This will dimish the life of your unit and the performance.
Air Handler Does Not Respond Or Work
Blown Blower Motor
The worst case scenario: your blower motor is shot and you may need to replace it. Without a blower motor, there is no way for air to circulate throughout your home. Contact an HVAC professional immediately to do this repair and replacement for you.
Besides being a safety risk, poor wiring can lead to a lack of power reaching your air handler and other electrical components.
Heat Pump Will Not Heat Or Cool Area
Incorrectly Calibrated Thermostat
If your thermostat reads the wrong temperature, it will never reach the correct one. Look at your manual to see how to recalibrate your thermostat and if this does not provide a solution, have it replaced by a professional.
Dirty Air Filters
If your air filters are dirty or clogged, they will not be able to receive adequate air flow - in turn they will stop heating. Wash your filters or replace them as recommended by the filter manufacturer.
Check exposed ductwork that have holes
You may find your heat pump is operational, but is not heating the house appropriately -- one culprit may be your ductwork.
Check for holes, gaps, leaks from the heat pump to your register. Since most ductwork is hidden, you may need to contact a licensed HVAC professional to assess your situation.
Heat Pump Short Cycles
Wrong Size Unit - Too Big
Two situations can arise from an improperly size unit: it may heat or cool too quickly when too big; once it achieves this temperature it will shut down. The constant short cycle repeats because of how quickly it heats or cools the area. Contact us to assess if you have the right size unit.
If your air filters are dirty, it will block airflow and make your unit heat up. To protect the components, your unit may shut down.
Incorrectly calibrated thermostat
Like above, an incorrectly calibrated thermostat may affect your heat pump cycling. If you place your thermostat in directly sunlight, or in a location that is constantly heated up when in use (ex: bathroom with shower), you might find your thermostat short cycles your heat pump when it believes the room is the desired temperature.
Place your thermostat in a location that is shaded and as far away from heat vents as possible. This will help estimate the true temperature of the entire room better.
Unit Is Leaking Fluid/Liquid
Drain Line Is Clogged/Blocked
With the heat pump on cooling, your unit ill take humid air and in turn create condensation while pushing cool air throughout your home. The condensation then travels through a drain pipe. If this line has any cracks, holes, or is damaged it will leak. If the line is clogged, it will also cause some overflowing situations. Depending on how your unit is setup, you may need a professional to assess.
Refrigerant leaks occur when ice builds up on the evaporator coils. When you turn off the unit, the ice melts and causes the unit to leak water.
Odd Smell Or Odor
From time to time, mold can begin to grow in heat pumps and in the ducts that they use. This can cause issues beyond just smell, and may impact your health as well. Depending on the size of the growth, you may need a licensed professional to help remove and clean the unit.
Animals make their way into homes typically in the winter to hide from the cold elements. Heat pumps and the surrounding areas make great nesting locations due to the natural heat that is produced. Smells can be caused by the droppings of animals and rodents, food brought into the home, or dead animal. Remove any nesting or animal carcasses, and look to identify gaps in your exterior where animals may be entering.
The smell of burning may indicate electrical problems on the inside of your heat pump unit. Turn off the unit at the main breaker and call a licensed HVAC professional immediately.
Signs you have a heat pump issue
1. Leakage of Water
Most leaks in indoor units happen when the condensate drain gets clogged, which keeps the water from the evaporator from draining.
You may simply resolve this issue on your own. Stop the heat pump, remove the front panel, and use a dry cloth or vacuum to clear the drain of any debris. A small amount of vinegar poured down the drain can help eliminate the algae and fungi there, removing any lingering odor.
Puddles of water frequently form next to the outdoor unit. A damaged condensate pan, a faulty AC seal, sloppy installation, etc. are just a few of the many potential causes.
The heat pump should be turned off immediately, and an air conditioning repairman should be called. When faced with a problem of this nature, it's not a good idea to tackle it on your own.
2. Leaking Refrigeration System
Unfortunately, it's not uncommon for AC refrigerants to escape through the piping system, releasing a strong odor. Also, the heat pump might not be able to cool or heat the house as well without anyone noticing.
Fixing a small leak in the refrigerant system is as simple as topping it off. But if the problem is really bad, the whole refrigerant pipe might need to be replaced. To figure out how to fix this, talk to someone who works with air conditioning and heating systems.
3. Filter Clogged with Dirt and Dust
If your air filter is clogged, your heat pump might have to work harder to keep the same level of air flow. The heat pump's efficiency may suffer, and it may be unable to provide the necessary warmth or cooling. At the very least, your heat pump's filter should be changed every three months.
Filters may be removed from the interior unit, slipped under running water, and cleaned if they become clogged or unclean. After it has dried in the air, return it to the heat pump.
4. Evaporator coil freezing up
In the event of an evaporator coil freeze, a heat pump will cease producing either heat or cold. If the airflow through your heat pump is inadequate, it may experience this issue. It can be due to the collection of dust, filth, and grime on the evaporator coil or a blocked air inlet.
The evaporator coil can defrost by itself if the heat pump is turned off. In a pinch, a hair dryer would do the trick, too. After the ice has melted, clean the evaporator coils completely with compressed air, making sure there is no blockage in the input or filter.
5. Faulty Air Conditioner Fan
The heat pump's external condensing device is what gets rid of the heat energy in the refrigerant. The condenser coils are cooled by airflow from a fan located inside the unit. If this fan isn't functioning properly, heat transfer is impeded, and the heat pump can't adequately heat or cool the space. If the compressor trips, it will be damaged.
If the heat pump's fan has stopped spinning, turn off the power and take the cover off the outside compressor. Inspect the space for trash and vermin, and remove them if found. If a simple inspection doesn't show any problems, you should talk to a professional.
6. Heat Pump Smells Bad
A common issue with heat pumps is a foul odor. This typical issue has a wide range of complexity, from easy to difficult solutions. Wet filters, a clogged condensate drain, a leaking refrigerant, or fungus growth are all possible causes of the odor.
Employing Heat Pumps All Year
To move heat from one location to another, you can use an appliance called a heat pump. This holds true for both the reverse process, in which heat is transferred from a cooler to warmer environment, and the warmer to cooler scenario. Because of this, a heat pump can be used year-round.
With a reversing valve, a ductless mini-split heat pump in Boston can be used in either hot or cold weather. In the same way that heat pumps can be used for both heating and cooling, air conditioners can only be used for cooling because they lack a reversing valve.
Keep in mind the heat pump's minimum working temperatures and technical requirements if you reside in a very cold area. In really cold weather, the performance of some heat pumps may suffer.
The reason for this is that it requires a lot more effort to move heat from a cold place to a warm one. It's a lot less of a challenge if the temperature difference between the two locations isn't too great. When it's not too cold or too hot outside, the unit can easily take heat from the air and move it inside. When the temperature is really low outside, the heat pump is less efficient because it cannot pull enough heat from the air.
Also, mini-split systems may last longer than traditional central air conditioning systems, which can save you money over time. These systems' primary selling point is their adaptability; nevertheless, they also provide financial savings. Therefore, they yield a satisfactory return on investment.
Consider if a ductless heat pump is the best option for your home.
You may enjoy smart air conditioning with Home Mechanics while saving up to 25% on energy costs with a ductless heat pump's combination of ease, control, and comfort.
Investing in a ductless heat pump system should be at the top of your to-do list if you care about creating a comfortable interior environment without breaking the bank. Ductless heat pumps are the best way to keep your home comfortable because they are easy to use, don't cost much to maintain, and work smartly. Contact Home Mechanics if you are looking for professional ductless mini-split installation in Boston.