With most heating systems today, heat pumps are becoming more popular and are often the preferred method of heating a home. A heat pump is a device that uses a liquid, such as a refrigerant or Freon, to transfer heat from a location, usually inside the house, to a site, usually outside. The unit draws in this liquid at what temperature it is needed and then transfers it to the location where the space is cold. This is a very efficient way to keep a home comfortable during the winter months and save significant money on heating bills.
Heat pumps that work at their optimum temperature will require little maintenance. Should hire a professional for yearly inspections and care to ensure that everything is operating smoothly. If any mechanical issues are discovered, should resolve them before the next season begins. However, for the average homeowner, upkeep is a simple process that can be done by anyone who is reasonably skilled. Here are a few basic things to check on each season:
When the outside temperature drops, most heat pumps will not operate properly. A low temperature can cause the pump’s oil to drain, and over time, it can damage the pump’s evaporator coil. In addition, if the cooling coils get too hot, they will eventually burn up. If a heat pump is found operating in an area where it regularly stays too hot, it should be moved to a location with a milder climate.
When the air temperature rises, the heat pump’s compressor will need to be primed. This will allow the pump to run at its optimum efficiency because when the air temperature increases, the compressor will require less energy to heat the water used to cool the pump. To do this, a professional will need to come out and do an inspection. Most heat pumps that use oil will need to be primed before use, as will a gas-powered system.
When the air temperature goes up, a pump will not work as well or as long. For example, during a summer heatwave, a regular pump might not keep up. If the home is located in an area that experiences unusually high temperatures, a heat pump may be ineffective or not work at all. The problem could also be with the water heater. Sometimes, when a pump fails to cool the water needed for heating the home, the extra hot water used can create a surge in pressure which can cause damage to the pump and even increasing the risk of electrocution.
During a cold snap. Can impair a heat pump’s ability to remove heat from home. When the outside temperature takes a turn for the worse, it does not take long for the inside of a house to become uncomfortably warm. As a result, it might take longer to heat the home because of a lack of adequate airflow into the home. In addition to making it harder to keep the house comfortable, this condition can create dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.
When a homeowner has a power outage, they often have to decide when to use their heat pump. When the temperature drops, such devices might suddenly be rendered ineffective. At what temperature does a heat pump stop working? This answer depends on whether the unit is part of a complex power supply system or just a stand-alone unit.
It is essential to know the answers to these questions because a malfunctioning pump can be much more severe than if a heat pump stops working at an average temperature. For instance, when a pump provides hot water for the home, but the pilot light is not burning, a mechanical failure might be the culprit. In a system such as this, the pilot light is usually a thermostat used to determine when the hot water tank is sufficient to fill the family’s needs. With no heat pump backup, this would mean there would be no room left for the hot water, and a major emergency would immediately arise.