Heat pumps are an alternative type of HVAC system that make use of a heat exchanger to transport heat into or out of your home, depending on the weather outside, instead of actually heating or cooling the air itself. This makes heat pumps much more energy efficient than traditional forced air systems. However, just like every appliance, heat pumps can begin to break down and work less efficiently over time. Understanding some of the warning signs associated with heat pump malfunction can help you determine when you should contact a professional to have your unit serviced to extend its lifespan and restore its efficiency.
Iced Evaporator Coils
The evaporator coils on your heat pump work to absorb heat from the interior of your home. When the heat pump becomes damaged for whatever reason and begins to leak refrigerant while still operating, it can lead to condensation forming around the evaporator coils and freezing into ice. A lack of refrigerant can leave your heat pump unable to properly cool or heat your home, while the ice can actually cause physical damage to the coil which may require repair or replacement. In addition to the repair, you will also need to replace the refrigerant, so you should get in touch with a professional straight away.
Another clear sign that there may be something wrong with your heat pump is if it constantly cycles on and off for short periods of time. In the best case scenario, this is simply a wiring issue with your thermostat, which will require the thermostat to be replaced. In other cases, the compressor within the heat pump is damaged, or the unit has begun to otherwise malfunction in such a way that it is no longer efficient enough to properly heat the entire square footage of your home and may require replacement parts.
Increased Energy Bills
Since heat pumps are so much more energy efficient when compared to forced air climate control systems, any increase in the amount of electricity that your unit uses will be easily noticed. If you haven't increased the amount of use that you are demanding out of your heat pump, but your utility bills have started to move upwards, your unit may simply be less efficient than it otherwise should be, causing it to operate for longer periods to provide the same heating and cooling that it did previously. A professional inspection is necessary to determine what needs to be done to get your heat pump operating normally again.
For more information, contact a company like Dependable Heating & Cooling.