We’re not exactly in the middle of a frozen wasteland out here, even if most of the rest of the country is around this time of year. Even so, it’s a good idea to make sure that your climate control systems are in good shape for those times that the weather does start to get a little cold. If you’re trying to use your heat pump for climate control this season and it’s not generating enough output for your needs, there might be a number of different reasons why. Check out the following factors that might contribute to low heat pump output, and what needs to be done to repair them.
Whether heating or cooling, a heat pump is totally reliant on its refrigerant supply in order to provide proper climate control for your home. The heat pump receives a set amount of refrigerant upon installation, and recycles that same supply throughout its lifespan. If a leak develops in the refrigerant line, the output capacity of the system will drop along with the level of refrigerant. Eventually, the refrigerant level will drop to the point that the system will not be able to properly heat or cool the home, and the heat pump will break down. If you notice fluid leaking from the heat pump along with the drop in output, you should call for repairs right away.
Reversing Valve Problems
If the heat pump seems to be stuck in heating or cooling mode, then you might have an issue with the reversing valve. The reversing valve is the part that allows the heat pump to reverse the flow of refrigerant through the system. If the valve malfunctions, the system will not be able to switch back and forth between heating and cooling modes properly. There are two possible things that can go wrong with the reversing valve. Either the slide is stuck, or the solenoid has lost its charge. Either way, you’re going to need a professional to repair the system for you in order to restore the heat pump to proper function.
Clogged Air Filter
Of course, it’s possible that the reason your heat pump isn’t heating or cooling properly is as simple as a clogged air filter. The air filter is a fiber mesh that sits in the return duct of the heat pump, protecting it from the dust and other debris common to a home’s ductwork. While the filter offers excellent protection for the heat pump, it does need to be replaced at least once every three months or so in order to continue functioning properly. Otherwise, the system will become clogged. This will cause the air flow into the heat pump to become largely blocked. No air flowing into the system means no air to circulate throughout the home while the heat pump is operating. Make sure that you or a trusted professional change out the air filter at least once every three months in order to keep the air flowing into the system.