Four Important Facts About Heat Pump Use

Construction & Contractors Articles

Heat pump systems are an efficient and consistent way to keep your home comfortable. They rely on a coil and refrigerant design that condenses the heat in the air outside, then pumps that heat into your home. Despite their reliability, they aren't without some potential problems. Here's a look at a few of the things that you should be attentive to with your heat pump system.

The Temperature Outside Can Affect The Performance

Heat pumps draw heat from the air, so when the temperatures outside get too cold, they are unable to work efficiently. In addition, ice buildup on the pump can cause damage. Make sure you are aware of the ideal temperatures for your heat pump. If you don't have the documentation for the system, your heat pump technician can help. In most cases, the heat pump will work well as long as the temperatures outside are above freezing.

If you live in an area where temperatures fall below freezing, you'll want to have your HVAC technician help you with a backup heat source. Whether you opt for an electric furnace or a fuel-burning one, you'll want to turn it on for supplemental heat any time the temperatures dip. This will minimize the stress on the pump, making it easier for you to keep your home comfortable.

Know How To Evaluate Your Heat Production

When you're used to traditional furnace systems, it can be difficult to properly assess the output of your heat pump. The air coming out of the vents of a heat pump system will never feel as hot as that from a standard furnace because traditional furnaces use a heat coil or flame that makes the air feel much hotter than that from a heat pump.

Heat pumps produce more consistent, gentle heat. That means the air itself won't often feel as warm to the touch. This is deceptive, making you think that your heat pump is functioning poorly. Instead of checking the air coming from the vents, consider how your home feels overall to determine how your heat pump is working.

Heat Pumps Are Easy To Troubleshoot

If your heat pump isn't producing the heat you expect it to, there could be several reasons beyond just the temperature outside. Start by checking the fan and the electrical system's response. Adjust the thermostat on the heat pump so that the temperature is set warmer than the temperature in the house. The fan on the heat pump should turn on to start adding warm air to your home. If you don't hear the fan engage, it could be the thermostat or the electrical system.

Start by checking the thermostat. To do this most effectively, put a thermometer beside the thermostat on the wall. Once the thermometer adjusts to the temperature, compare the readings between the thermometer and the thermostat. If there's a discrepancy of more than a degree or two, it's an indication that the thermostat may not be working properly. You'll need to have it evaluated by an HVAC technician.

If the thermostat is working but the fan still isn't engaging, that's a sign of an electrical problem or a potential problem with your heat pump's fan. These can be replaced or repaired, but you'll need to work with your HVAC technician for it to be done properly.

You Should Monitor The Emergency Heat System Too

Remember that the emergency heat system only engages when the temperatures drop below freezing, so it spends a lot of time sitting unused. That can lead to problems over time if you don't test it. Once a month or so, test your emergency heat by using the manual controls to activate it. Flip the switch on the system to turn the emergency heat on and make sure that it engages and functions as intended. If it doesn't engage, you'll want to have an HVAC technician evaluate it to determine where the problem is.

Contact a company like Salem Heating & Sheet Metal, Inc. for additional information.

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3 March 2017

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