3 Common Culprits Behind Heat Pump Failure

Like many people living in mild climates, you may use a heat pump to heat and cool your home. Heat pumps are an energy-efficient choice for homes because they don't generate heat. Instead, they move it from one location to another to provide heating or cooling output more efficiently and at a lower cost than traditional heating and cooling systems.

That said, your heat pump consists of several components that work together to deliver reliable heating and cooling performance. If there's a problem with one or more of these components, failure can occur.

Read along to discover the most common causes of heat pump failure and how they can be addressed.

Refrigerant Leaks

Heat pumps work using a closed-loop refrigeration cycle, which involves using a working fluid, known as refrigerant, to transfer heat from the exterior to the interior of a building during the cold season and reversing the direction of the refrigerant flow to provide cooling performance in hot weather.

Leaks in the refrigerant lines can lead to low refrigerant levels, causing your heat pump to overwork and fail. To fix the issue, you need to find and fix the leaks and regas the unit to restore proper refrigerant levels.

Bad Compressor

Refrigerant enters the compressor as a low-pressure, low-temperature gas. The compressor compresses it to increase its pressure and temperature. Consequently, refrigerant exits the compressor as a high-pressure, high-temperature gas that is then passed through the condenser coil to dissipate the heat outside the building.

If your compressor is faulty, it will undermine compression, which is a crucial first step in the refrigeration process. Luckily, you can replace it.

Frozen Evaporator Coil

The indoor unit of your heat pump houses an evaporator coil that absorbs heat from your building interior for dissipating outside. If the coil ices up, it may fail to draw heat from your interior space, resulting in a loss of efficiency or complete failure. 

Several factors can cause your evaporator coil to become covered in ice. These include dirt accumulation on the coil, a dirty air filter, a blocked condensation drain line, low fan speed, and more.

Identifying the underlying cause of the problem is essential to restore normal heating and cooling functions.

Heat pumps operate using the same closed-loop cycle of compression, condensation, and evaporation as standard air conditioners. However, they include a reverse cycle feature that allows them to provide both heating and cooling output.

If you need heat pump repair services, contact a local HVAC contractor.