How Does My Heat Pump Work?
Heat pumps are dual-purpose systems that heat your home during the winter and cool it during the summer. Rather than creating heat like with furnaces, heat pumps waste less energy by redistributing existing warm air.
During the summer, these devices redirect warm air outdoors. When winter approaches, they reverse direction, pulling warm air indoors through the air handlers. They operate at 100% efficiency when temperatures stay within a moderate range.
Major Concerns with Heat Pumps
1. Limited Heating and Cooling
Sometimes, heat pumps prove inadequate from the start, especially in the wrong climates. Because they make do with the temperatures exposed to them, they can’t move heat indoors if not much humidity exists outdoors. When temperatures dip below 40 degrees, they struggle to provide warmth, so be conscious of your climate before investing in a heat pump.
If your heat pump malfunction is a new concern, check for a faulty thermostat. Incorrect readings send the wrong signals to your system, telling it to turn on and off at inappropriate times. The following are just a few of the causes requiring heat pump repair in Elgin, IL:
- Dirty air filters clog your vents, causing less airflow into your home.
- The refrigerant is leaking from the coils, creating low levels that cannot move heat in and out of your house.
- A malfunctioning reversing valve keeps the heat moving in one direction, even if you switch it for a new season.
2. Long or Short Cycling
Heating systems long cycle when they consistently run while trying to alleviate indoor temperatures. Filthy coils or filters block air transfer, causing little controlled air to seep out of the heat pump. When this occurs, it takes longer to heat or cool your space, and the thermostat, sensing the current lower temperature, sends signals to the system to keep running.
Heat pumps also run overtime when a smaller system works in a room too large for it to handle. Similarly, larger systems in a tiny room or home reach desired temperatures quickly, turning on and off frequently. Alongside incorrect unit sizes, obstruction causing overheating and thermostat problems also contribute to unusual cycling.
3. Higher Electricity Bills
Long and short cycling are the primary reasons for higher utility bills since running for extended periods or frequently turning on and off draw more electricity. However, it’s not the only reason for higher bills.
- Clogs in the system cause it to work harder to produce the desired temperature, pulling more current and overheating the system
- The backup heat kicks in if the outdoor compartment stops working, but the fan continues to run
- Low refrigerant doesn’t heat or cool properly, forcing you to adjust the thermostat