Avoid These Heat Pump Problems with Routine Maintenance!

Posted by Tom Vatter

male technician doing service on an hvac systemThis area of Florida usually doesn’t get too chilly during the winter (though we’re sure if we said that to you a couple of weeks ago, you’d be laughing in our faces) and therefore, the chances of needing Fort Walton Beach, FL air conditioning repair are typically a lot higher than needing heating services—so long as your heater is routinely maintained each year. But there is one system that is tasked with both heating and cooling, and that’s the heat pump.

If you are a heat pump user, then you’ve likely heard that you need maintenance twice a year on this system. That’s because it is a year-round unit, constantly working to bring you indoor comfort. This means it’s also prone to various issues that may not impact your average air conditioner or furnace system. This is especially the case if you skip one of your maintenance appointments. By staying on top of your heat pump tune ups, you can potentially avoid the following problems.

Reversing Valve Malfunction or Failure

The reversing valve of your heat pump is tasked with enabling the system to switch back and forth between heating and cooling modes. The valve itself is a 4-way connector that sits in the refrigerant line of the system. Inside the valve is a slider that moved between two positions, each of which puts the heat pump into heating or air conditioning mode.

The slide is controlled by an electromagnet referred to as the solenoid. This part pulls the slide back and forth. But if your reversing valve malfunctions or fails to work, then your heat pump can get stuck in one mode or the other. We certainly hope for your sake that being stuck in cooling mode isn’t the reason you’re reading this post right now!

If it is, though, and you need repair, you can expect one of two causes. It may be a case of a slide that is stuck, or the other option is that the solenoid has lost its charge. If the slide is stuck, then you’ll need an HVAC pro to open the valve up and reset it. If the solenoid lost its charge, then it will require a replacement component.

Refrigerant Leak

There is a common misconception among homeowners that refrigerant is something that depletes—like gasoline in a car—and has to be replaced every now and then. However, if you are losing refrigerant then it actually means you have a leak. And refrigerant leaks are not a good thing for any type of HVAC system.

Just like a conventional air conditioner, your heat pump system depends on a set amount of refrigerant to heat and cool the home, which it is supplied with upon installation. When refrigerant leaks and the level drops too low, it causes the output capacity of the heat pump to drop until it breaks down. If you notice fluid dripping form your heat pump, then it’s a good idea to call for repairs ASAP.

During maintenance, our professionals check for any breaches in the refrigerant line, and if we do see a leak we find the source of it, and then refill (recharge) the refrigerant. If you’ve ever had an HVAC “professional” in your home try to tell you that refrigerant needs recharging each time you have maintenance done, then we’re sorry to tell you that just isn’t the case.

When you need prompt and effective HVAC repairs or maintenance in the Navarre area and beyond, contact Kool Breeze of Northwest Florida, Inc.

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