Heat pumps have become increasingly popular among Georgia homeowners in recent years. They are complete central heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) systems that work by pumping heat. A heat pump can warm your home by transferring heat from the outdoors to the indoors. A heat pump can cool your home, conversely, by transferring heat from the indoors to the outdoors. If you’re thinking about buying a heat pump, though, there are several problems of which you should be aware.
#1) Stuck in Heating or Cooling Mode
Whether ground source or air source, heat pumps may get stuck in a particular mode. They can get stuck in heating mode, or they can get stuck in cooling mode. This is typically the result of a faulty reversing valve. If the reversing valve fails, the heat pump won’t be able to change the direction of its refrigerant, so it will remain stuck in heating or cooling mode.
#2) Frozen Outdoor Unit
The outdoor unit of a heat pump may become frozen. Like air conditioning systems, heat pumps have an indoor unit and an outdoor unit. When the outdoor temperature drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, the latter may become frozen. Heat pumps are designed with a defrost mode to prevent the outdoor unit from becoming frozen. If the defrost mode fails to turn on, though, the outdoor unit may become frozen.
#3) Short Cycling
Heat pumps can succumb to short cycling. Short cycling is a phenomenon in which an HVAC system – an air conditioning system, furnace or a heat pump – heats or cools an indoor space too quickly. It’s known as “short cycling” because it involves the HVAC system cycling on and off frequently. Choosing an HVAC system that’s too big for your home may result in short cycling. Alternatively, heat pumps may short cycle due to a dirty air filter.
#4) Dirty Coils
Speaking of dirt, dirty coils is a common heat pump problem. Heat pumps resemble air conditioning systems. They feature two units, and each of these units has a coil within it. Over time, debris may accumulate on a heat pump’s coils. If not cleaned, dirty coils will restrict the heat pump’s ability to transfer heat.
#5) Blown Capacitor
A blown capacitor is a common problem from which heat pumps suffer. Most heat pumps have two separate capacitors: start and run. They use the start capacitor to turn on, and they use the run capacitor to continue running. A blown capacitor will prevent the heat pump from starting or running.