When your heat pump suddenly stops working, the best thing to do is, of course, to call a repair service. Specifically, a heating repair service, so they can send someone to come in and take a look at the heating system in question.
After all, a heating pump is complex in nature and an untrained person will not be able to spot the source of the problem. Once the contractor has arrived, you will be asked a series of detailed questions so be prepared to take some time out of your day to assist the contractor in their repair services. These are the most commonly documented heat pump malfunctions:
Outdoor Compressor And Fan Have Stopped Working
When the outdoor unit stops working, it is often due to a tripped breaker circuit, problems with the wiring, a blown-out fuse, a bad transformer, or an overloaded compressor. When this happens, you should pray that all you need is a furnace tune up, because the worst-case scenario would be the need for a whole new heat pump.
Humming Heat Pump That Won’t Start
The majority of the time, this is caused by a malfunctioning part, i.e. a bad start capacitor, compressor bearings, or compressor motor. Sometimes the cause will also be electrical problems. Regardless, you will likely need to replace the heat pump, unless the problem is electrical in nature, in which case the contractor may have a chance of saving it.
Outdoor Compressor Won’t Work
So, the compressor doesn’t work but the fan does. This is often due to improper phasing, poor voltage, a grounded compressor motor, or because of a bad capacitor. When it comes to such problems, it will be up to your contractor to determine whether your system needs replacing or if a repair job is sufficient.
Outdoor Pump Or Fan Aren’t Working
When there is an issue with the pump or fan relay, an issue with the timer, or a fault in the motor, then there is no getting around replacing the pump. However, if the issue is electrical, a straight up rewiring may get the job done.
However, don’t try to do it all on your own but call in the AC Repair experts in Philadelphia. They understand all aspects of the pumps and HVAC units and will be able to do what is necessary which will make sure that your unit is working again.
Indoor Fan Has Stopped Working
When there is a malfunction with the motor or transformers, you will not get around purchasing a replacement. However, if the problem is a blown fuse, bad circuit, or an issue electrical in nature, you will be fine with getting a repair job done.
If you wish to keep your home warm and protected throughout all of winter, you will need to have an attic in it that is properly ventilated. Lack of attic ventilation can lead to moisture build up which damages the very foundation and structural integrity of your roof and can bring along an urgent need for costly repairs. Additionally, proper ventilation will also allow for quality air flow throughout your home during the cold season. This is important to have fresh air while maintaining comfortable temperatures inside the home.
Benefits Of Attic Ventilation
There is an array of reasons as to why you should ensure proper ventilation of your attic, including the prevention and protection against:
- the appearance of and spread of wood rot
- popping roof shingles
- the buildup of ice dams
- the growth and spread of mold
- moisture build up
- frost build up
Since hot air rises while cold air sinks due to the differences in density, your attic will experience an increase in warmth during winter in contrast to the lower floors of your home. However, with the heat also comes moisture, at least it does when your attic space is lacking proper ventilation. And this moisture is then free to be soaked up by your home; it seeps into the materials which make up your roof, it seeps into the framing of your attic, it seeps into the boxes and furniture stored in your attic. In short: it brings mold and rot.
So how can proper attic ventilation fight this? Well, the installation of a ventilation system will lead to cool and dry air being pumped into your attic from the outside, while also transferring the warm and moist air from indoors to the outside. As a result, temperatures will remain even and moisture doesn’t get to build up. No more hot and cold spots. No more ice dams. Additionally, you will have turned your home into an environment protected against the growth of mold and mildew, as well as an environment unfriendly to rodents and insects. Calling on HVAC service in Philadelphia is important as they understand all aspects of the heating and cooling systems. Most of the companies offering these services have been in business for years and can offer regular maintenance and emergency services as well.
Understanding the Different Forms Of Attic Ventilation
It is recommended to have one square foot of ventilated space in contrast to roughly three-hundred cubic feet of regular, unventilated attic space. Additionally, you will also need an equal amount of intake and exhaust vents, in order to ensure functional airflow in and out of your attic.
Refrigerant is a substance (or mixture) that is used to move heat back and forth between the in- and outdoors. However, since refrigerant is transferred through pipes, these lines may be damaged, which will lead to leaks, and thus a loss of refrigerant. As a result, the heat pump requires a recharge in order to restore the desired performance level.
The Complexity Of Charging Your Heat Pump During Winter
If you wish to, or need to, charge your heat pump in the depths of winter (or generally low temperatures), you will need to make use of what is called the “superheat method”.
This method can only be performed by HVAC Repair technicians in Philadelphia who have undergone the required training. “Superheat” is a term which is used when talking about the differences in temperature between refrigerant vapor in its actual state and refrigerant vapor’s temperature during saturation.
If you wish to keep your home warm and cozy, your auxiliary heating system needs to be up and running during the repair process of your heat pump. This is because the heat pump needs to be offline while the necessary repairs are made.
The charging process of a heat pump is significantly more difficult during the cold season due to the latent heat load being so minuscule around the evaporator.
Additionally, and as a result of this, the refrigerant charge of your heat pump cannot be perfect, but it will still be more than enough to restore efficiency to your system.
Charging Process In Low Temperatures
- In order to keep the air inside the system from escaping, the condenser will be covered by a sheet of plastic.
- Using the 4-way reversing valve, the heat pump’s mode is switched to cooling. To achieve this, its low voltage wire will need to be removed. This is because the thermostat will still be asking for heat which it will now be able to obtain through the auxiliary heating system. Once this set up is complete, your home will remain heated, even while the heat pump is down.
- The refrigerant vapor in the refrigerant lines needs to be retrieved by bleeding air from the lines.
- In order to capture this refrigerant, a refrigerant cylinder will be fastened to the gauge lines and switched upside down. Once this set up is established, the manifold valve can be opened and refrigerant liquid can be retrieved.
It is important that you discuss the details with a reliable and licensed contractor that has years of experience in handling varied sizes of HVAC systems. Usually, such services offer standard maintenance plans on a regular basis.
You’ve no doubt noticed that winter has come in full force in Philadelphia. And that always means those high heating costs. So how can you reduce those heating bills without breaking the bank? Here are some tips from your Philadelphia HVAC experts at Affordable Fixes LLC.
Lower the Thermostat Setting
This may be a “duh” answer, but most people don’t appreciate how much they can save with just a small thermostat adjustment. In fact, for each degree you lower your setting over a 24-hour period, you can save up to 3 percent during that time period. Consider especially lowering your setting while you are asleep.
Use Your Ceiling Fan
You heard right, use those fans on a low setting in order to circulate the air that gets trapped at the ceiling. Hot air rises. Getting it to circulate brings it down where it is needed and allows it to feel warmer.
Keep Vents Clear
Make sure your vents or radiators are free from obstructions and not blocked by furniture of floor coverings. You want warm air to be able to circulate freely around the room. You will also want to keep your vents and radiators clean and dust free. Not only does dust and dirt clog circulation but it can be a big allergen in the home.
Seal Your Windows
Your home can lose 10 to 25 percent of its heat due to windows. Make sure to seal around windows and doors and any leaks around your home. Open shades on the south side of the home facing any sun during the daylight hours to allow the natural warmth into your home. Make sure windows are covered especially at night when the temperatures dip. Other common places for air leaks are where wires and cables come into the home and around electrical outlets.
Having adequate insulation is important to keep warmed air inside and cold air outside and can also be a tax-deductible home improvement. Don’t forget to insulate the basement as well.
Close the Flue
Make sure to close your chimney flue when your fireplace isn’t in use, otherwise, you are allowing warm air to escape.
Change Your Air Filters
In order for your furnace to work efficiently, it needs good circulation. A clogged filter is a sure-fire way to reduce the efficiency of your system. This should be done periodically for both furnace and air conditioning systems.
Invest in a Programmable or Smart Thermostat
Thermostats that can adjust your temperature at certain times, even when you aren’t home, can offer substantial savings on your energy bills.
Make Sure to Get Your System Maintained
Making sure your HVAC system is working properly should be something you do each year. Call the Philadelphia HVAC repair pros at Affordable Fixes LLC to see how having an annual maintenance program can ensure that your heating and cooling system is working properly when you need it most.
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