A Guide To Heat Pumps: Taking Care Of Your Heating System During Winter Weather

Today, heat pump AC systems are becoming more and more common. If you had one installed in your home last spring, it is soon going to be time to switch to heating. You need to know some things about caring for your AC heat pump when you need it for winter heating during the winter months. The following winter AC heat pump information will help you with your system when you start using your heating:

How the AC Heat Pump Works

Heat pumps are special air conditioners that can also heat your home. Heat pumps don't create heat, but they can move heat from one place to another. Before the winter months, you might want to have a basic understanding of how an AC heat pump works.

In the heating mode, the air handler blows air through the evaporator coil, which absorbs heat from it. The air then blows over the condensing coil, releasing the heat and blowing it out through the return duct to the air handler. In the cooling mode, the compressor pumps refrigerant through the evaporator and condenser coils. The refrigerant absorbs heat from the air, which blows over the evaporator coil. Then the compressor pumps air through the condenser coil, which releases the heat and blows out through the return duct to the air handler.

HVAC Systems and Changing Temperatures

As the winter weather brings colder air, your HVAC system needs to be taken care of. While the heat pump works differently than a conventional furnace and needs less upkeep. The maintenance a heat pump HVAC needs before heating for winter includes:

  • Switching the heat pump to heating mode.
  • Inspecting the heat pump unit for issues that need to be repaired.
  • Adjusting ductwork and inspecting ducts for damage that needs to be repaired.

Taking care of your heat pump maintenance and servicing will reduce problems when you need your heating.

Avoiding Problems During the Winter Months

The problems with a heat pump during the winter months are also issues that you might have to deal with. When you have a problem with a heat pump, it is different from dealing with furnaces problems. Some of the heat pump problems that can affect your system during the winter months include:

  • Refrigerant leaks—One of the first issues that homeowners overlook with a heat pump is the importance of refrigerants. Even though the system is in heating mode, it still needs to use refrigerant to move heat. Therefore, leaks can cause the system to not heat when it is needed for heating. It needs to be serviced and checked for leaks to ensure it is working efficiently when the HVAC is turned to heating mode.
  • Damaged ductwork—The ducts of your heat pump HVAC system might also have problems during the winter months. First, if the dampers have not been adjusted or there are closed vents, there might be a problem when you switch to heating. There can also be problems with damaged ducts that cause air leaks and reduce the efficiency of your heating.
  • Issues with thermostats—The thermostats of heat pump HVAC systems can also cause problems with your heating during the winter months. A failing thermostat can cause the system to not work properly.
  • Electrical issues—The heat pump is a complex system, which includes mechanical and electrical components. Like with a conventional AC, some of these parts, like the capacitor, can fail or wires can be damaged, and these issues might need to be repaired.

The issues with heat pumps during the winter months might seem like big problems, but an experienced HVAC technician can help you deal with any of these problems to get your heating back on when you need it.

Taking care of your AC heat pump during winter heating means fewer AC heat pump problems. Contact an HVAC service to get the help you need with the maintenance and repairs of your heat pump system.