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Why is My Heat Pump Not Heating?

Air-FilterIf there’s one time that you don’t want your heat pump to fail on the job, it’s in the middle of record low temperatures. Still, for some of us that’s exactly what has or will happen this winter. If your heat pump isn’t actually heating your home properly, it might be for a number of different reasons.

All of them are going to require professional services to fix, so you should probably call for repairs right now if you suspect that there is something wrong with the system. While you’re waiting for your technician to arrive, though, let’s have a look at some of the specific reasons why your heat pump might be malfunctioning.

Refrigerant Leaks

A fairly common occurrence for heat pumps is that of refrigerant leaks. The heat pump relies entirely on refrigerant to move heat into or out of the home. It recycles the same amount of refrigerant throughout its life, which means that a leak will gradually start to rob the system of its ability to heat. If you don’t have the refrigerant leak patched in time, it could lead to the entire system breaking down. It’s a good idea to call for repairs if you notice your heat pump leaking fluid of any kind.

Ice Buildup

As a heat pump draws thermal energy from the air outside, condensation will form on the coil. If the weather is cold enough, that condensation will freeze. Ice may build up on the heat pump over time, especially in the middle of winter. This isn’t inherently a problem, though. Heat pumps tend to have defrost cycles built into them, which they use to melt the ice off of their outdoor coils. The problem is when that defrost cycle fails, as sometimes happens. This causes the ice to build up until it completely covers the coil, cutting it off from the thermal energy in the air that it needs in order to heat the home. If your outdoor unit is completely encased in ice, you might need to have a professional look at the system to make sure it’s functioning properly.

Clogged Air Filter

This is pretty much the only mechanical problem that you might be able to fix yourself, which is a good thing if that happens to be what’s causing the drop in heating output. The air filter is designed to protect the heat pump from the dust and other debris commonly found in the ducts of a home. If the filter isn’t changed often enough, though, it will become clogged and prevent much of the air from making it into the heat pump. This will prevent the system from circulating enough air, and the heat to go with it. Just replace the filter yourself every three months, or have a professional do it for you, to prevent this from happening.

SPS Mechanical Inc. offers heat pump repair services throughout Glassboro, NJ. If you need heat pump repairs, contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our expert technicians.

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