Heat pumps are great home heating system. They’re safe, efficient, and environmentally friendly. Unfortunately, they are also just as vulnerable to problems as any other system. Heat pumps actually have more in common with air conditioners than systems like furnaces. This is reflected in the problems that they can experience.
Let’s take a look at some of the more common heat pump repair needs. The more you know about heat pump problems, the faster you’re be able to identify and react to them.
Broken Reversing Valve
The reversing valve is responsible for directing the flow of refrigerant through the system. This is what allows the heat pump to provide both heating and cooling functions. The valve itself is a four-way junction in the refrigerant line, with a slide controlled by a solenoid in order to direct the flow. It is possible for the slide to become stuck in the chamber of the valve, causing the heat pump to become trapped in heating or cooling mode. It is also possible for the solenoid to lose its charge, which creates the same problem.
Malfunctioning Defrost Cycle
During cold days, it is possible for ice to form on the outside unit of the heat pump. This isn’t necessarily a problem, unless the ice covers more than half of the unit casing. If that happens, the coil inside is cut off from the supply of thermal energy that it needs to heat the house. Heat pumps are built with a defrost cycle, in order to melt the ice off of the unit every once in a while.
However, the defrost cycle may occasionally malfunction. If the defrost cycle malfunctions, there is nothing to prevent the ice from completely covering the heat pump. If you notice that the outside unit of your heat pump is more than half-covered in ice, then you should have it looked at by a professional. Chances are, you’ll need to have the defrost cycle repaired before the heat pump can return to normal operation.
If you need your heat pump repaired, call JW Heating & Air. We provide heating repair throughout the Burbank area.