Heat pumps are often very effective pieces of equipment that transfer outdoor heat to the inside using refrigerant, allowing for efficient heating. Investing in an air-source heat pump can be a great way to keep utility costs down, but there are some common problems that you are likely to encounter with your heating system. Read on to learn how to troubleshoot 2 common heat pump issues so you can have improved performance and keep your home warm and cozy throughout the cold season.
Heat pump is iced-up
Your heat pump can often get covered in frost during winter, a problem that can restrict the transfer of heat between the refrigerant and outside air leading to inefficient heating. If the condenser coil gets completely covered in ice, this can crush outdoor coils and damage fan blades, leading to refrigerant leaks and possible damage to the compressor.
Most modern heat pumps are equipped with a defrost mechanism that prevents excessive ice buildup in the outdoor condenser, so be sure to call in a professional who does heating system repairs to inspect the defrost thermostat sensor and defrost timer if you have an iced-up system.
If the defrost system is intact, the problem could be caused by restricted air flow in the unit. To solve this, replace any clogged air filters and ensure that none of the return-air registers are blocked by carpets or furniture. Next, ensure that air flow to the outdoor condenser coil isn't obstructed by leaves and snow and elevate the outdoor unit to allow enough room for accumulated ice to melt and drain away.
Noisy heat pump
If you hear strange noises coming from your heat pump, chances are that there is a problem in the unit that could be costing you heating efficiency. Squealing and grinding noises in the condenser often indicate that the motor bearings are shot and need replacing. Pinging sounds coming from the ducts are often caused by the flow of heated air through the metal piping, an issue you can fix by locating the areas where the sound is coming from and denting in the sheet metal slightly to create a rigid surface that's less likely to move due to thermal expansion.
On the other hand, rattling sounds in the ductwork can indicate that the metal piping is shaking as air passes through it. This can often be fixed by installing foam insulation between the wall hangers and duct runs. If the rattling continues, check that the unit cover panels and loose parts of the air handler are screwed on tightly.