Heat pumps are used to heat and cool homes and buildings. A Heat pump system can be chosen as an inexpensive, energy efficient alternative to air conditioning or furnaces, as they move air to regulate temperature rather than generating hot or cold air. For example, in the summer, an air source heat pump will move hot air out of your house, to outside. Heat pump systems are best used in milder climates. In the hottest and coldest temperatures an additional means of heating and cooling may be necessary.
Heat pump systems are a great choice for anyone looking to conserve energy and save money on heating and cooling where possible. Other heating and cooling systems may cost approximately 4 times as much to run as a heat pump system.
There are three different types of heat pump system to choose from – air source heat pumps, water source heat pumps and geothermal heat pumps. Read on to find out more about each one.
Air Source Heat Pump
Air source heat pumps are the most commonly used heat pump. Choose an air source heat pump to move warm or cool air into or out of your home as the season requires. Air source heat pumps also help with dehumidification in the summer months.
Heat from the air is captured using air source heat pumps through the use of an outdoor heat exchanger coil.
The heat is then transferred to your home via an indoor heat exchanger coil, and is moved into radiators, air ducts or a hot water tank. An air source heat pump can also be used to cool your home.
Water Source Heat Pump
If you live by a body of water, a water source heat pump could be an option for you. For a water source heat pump to work, pipes must be laid out in the nearby lake or well. Heat is collected as the water cycles through the pipes and is sent to your home. Water source heat pumps can also be used to cool your home.
Geothermal Heat Pump
Geothermal heat pumps are also known as ground source heat pumps, as this kind of pump extracts heat from the ground.
In order for a geothermal heat pump to work, piping must be laid at least 4 feet under ground. A fluid circulates inside the pipes.
Common Heat Pump Problems
Here we address three common heat pump problems and potential cause.
Not Enough Heat
If your trusted heat pump is no longer providing enough heat, the cause could be as simple as a dirty air filter. This is one of the most common heat pump problems, but also one of the easiest to fix. Ideally, heat pump filters should be cleaned every 8-12 weeks to keep your heat pump working efficiently.
If your heat pump system starts making unusual noises, there is a chance the compressor could be failing. The compressor is a cause of common heat pump problems. Luckily, compressor parts including reversing valves, start relays and more are available to fix common issues.
If your outside heat pump system unit starts, but your furnace or air handler isn’t blowing air, the cause could be that the capacitor is failing. In this instance, it is likely that this common heat pump problem can be fixed simply be replacing your run capacitor.