IERNA's Heating & Cooling Blog : Archive for the ‘Heat Pumps’ Category

How Do Heat Pumps Actually Work?

Monday, January 16th, 2017

Using a heat pump to both heat and cool your Florida home is a very efficient choice to keep your home comfortable all year long. Heat pumps serve as all-in-one units, with the same basic set up as an air conditioner used to perform heating functions as well as AC functions.

Does a heat pump use refrigerant? Yes, absolutely. Without refrigerant gas, the heat pump wouldn’t be able to function, which makes this fluid an integral part of the unit’s ability to operate. Keep reading to learn more about the refrigerant process and how this enables your heat pump to actually operate.

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Consider Using a Heat Pump for Year Round Comfort

Monday, September 7th, 2015

We are getting to the point in the year when the most intense heat of the summer season is behind us. That being said, residents in this area know that the heat does not pass with summer. We’ve got plenty of hot weather ahead of us, and our winter weather is quite mild, to say the least. In fact, it is warm enough that you may still cool your home with your AC during much of this short season. With this in mind, you are wise to consider the installation of a heat pump in Tampa, FL. Heat pumps are exceptionally well-suited to our climate, and offer some benefits that other systems cannot. Contact IERNA’s Heating & Cooling to learn more.

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Is a Heat Pump a Wise Investment?

Monday, June 22nd, 2015

Every HVAC system has its pros and cons. There is really no such thing as one truly “perfect” system. Surely, though, there is one which is a great fit for your home, your usage habits, and your user preferences. Many homeowners find that the heat pump suits their demands perfectly, or as near to it as they can get. While the heat pump may not be the household name that a central air conditioner is, this type of system has really caught on recently. If you think that using a heat pump in Tampa, FL may be right for your home, contact a member of our team today. You can count on IERNA’s Heating & Cooling to install and service your heat pump properly every step of the way.

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What Makes a Single Zone System the Best Choice for a Small Home or Room Addition?

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

Expanding your home is a big task, and one that requires serious HVAC work. But what if you could avoid installing ductwork into your home, and still have heating and cooling that matches the rest of your home? You can, with a Mitsubishi single zone ductless system in Wesley Chapel. With a single zone system, you can add the needed heating and cooling to a new addition without having to spend thousands on extending your home’s ductwork. Or, if you have a room in your home that is notoriously too hot during summer or too cold during winter, you can easily add supplemental warm air or cold air to that space with a single zone unit.

How Does It Work?

A single zone ductless system works the same as a multi-zone system, just on a smaller scale. With a single zone, you still have an outdoor unit and an indoor blower, but you also get a wireless remote thermostat to program the heating and cooling. The in- and outdoor units are connected by a conduit through which the refrigerant flows, and when the indoor unit turns on, the heating or cooling process begins.

Special Attributes of the Mitsubishi Single Zone System

Inverter Technology

One specialized detail of the Mitsubishi Single Zone System is that it comes equipped with Inverter technology. The technology allows the speed of the compressor to work on a varied basis in accordance with heating and cooling need of the room. The result is even cooling that is energy efficient.

Extra Filtration

Most indoor ductless units come with two filters; the Mitsubishi Single Zone System comes with three. Triple filters help capture a number of airborne contaminants including allergens, viruses and bacteria.

Quiet Operation

The Mitsubishi Single Zone System has been designed with quiet in mind. The blowers have compartmentalized components which helps reduce operation noise considerably.

A single zone ductless system may be just what you need for a new expansion or intemperate room in your home, so contact Ierna’s Heating & Cooling today!

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Why Won’t My Heat Pump Switch to Cooling Mode?

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

It’s that time of year when your heat pump begins to perform the other half of its job: providing you with steady cooling power. With just a simple change on the thermostat, the heating system that kept you warm during the rainy and overcast winter days will change over to a powerful cooling system.

But you might switch your heat pump to cooling mode only to discover that the air from your vents isn’t crisp and cool at all. It’s still heated or lukewarm. What’s wrong? And what can you do about it?

We’ll look at possible culprits for a heat pump that isn’t cooling. In most cases, you’ll need professional work to remedy the problem. For repairs on your heat pump in Wesley Chapel, FL, call the skilled team at Ierna’s Heating & Cooling.

Reasons a heat pump might not switch to cooling mode:

  • Broken reversing valve: The reversing valve is a component that changes the direction refrigerant flows through a heat pump after it exits the compressor: one direction for heating, one direction for cooling. This is the key difference between a heat pump and a standard air conditioner. If the reversing valve breaks, the heat pump will become fixed in one mode until you replace it with a new valve.
  • Malfunctioning thermostat: The thermostat may indicate that it has turned on cooling mode, but if the thermostat has lost its connection to the unit because of loose or frayed wires, then nothing that you do with the setting will change the heat pump out of heating mode. A technician can restore the thermostat’s connection to the system. You may also consider replacing the thermostat unit with an upgraded model.
  • Loss of refrigerant: If the air coming from the vents feels lukewarm, as if the heat pump is struggling to provide cool air but failing, then the pump may actually have switched over to cooling mode but loss of refrigerant due to a leak is preventing it from effectively cooling the air. A technician can locate the leak, seal it, and recharge the lost refrigerant.

The worst thing you can do for a heat pump that won’t change to cooling mode is to “wait it out,” hoping the system will fix itself and the cool air will start flowing from the vents again. This rarely happens, and the problem will likely worsen: malfunctions can spread and cause additional repair needs. Call in the specialists to fix the problem as soon as possible.

Ierna’s Heating & Cooling can help your heat pump in Wesley Chapel, FL no matter its troubles. Our trained staff is ready with 24-hour service.

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Understanding Your Heat Pump: Compressor Problems

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

Heat pumps make a viable and cost-effective alternative to more traditional heating and cooling systems. They work according to the same principles as air conditioners, transforming refrigerant gas into a liquid (releasing heat into the surrounding air) then returning it to gaseous form with an evaporator coil (absorbing heat from the air). In the summer, they absorb heat from inside your home and transfer it outside, and in the winter they absorb heat from the outside and use it to heat your home. Heat pumps work best in places with mild winters, making them ideal for the Tampa Bay area. It can help you know when to call for repairs if you have some understanding of your heat pump: compressor problems, for example, can be quite tricky, and knowing how to spot the signs will help you facilitate repairs that much more quickly.

Here is a brief list of the most common compressor problems:

  • Frequent cycling. If electrical problems develop in the compressor, it can lead the heat pump to turn on and off very quickly multiple times throughout the day. Heat pumps and air conditioners use the most amount of power when they start up and turn off, which means you want them to run for at least 15 minutes every time in order to prevent wasteful energy.
  • Lost heating or cooling capacity. The compressor relies on specific system pressure to do its job. If that pressure isn’t what it’s supposed to be – if there’s a leak or similar problems – with will interfere with the heating and cooling process, reducing the unit’s overall efficiency.
  • The compressor won’t start. If the compressor motor is faulty, it won’t start. In most cases, that means that the heat pump itself will simply won’t function. Your fan may still run, but the air coming out of the vents won’t be the right temperature.

Understanding your heat pump means spotting compressor problems as well as malfunctions in other parts of the system. If you notice an issue with your heat pump in Tampa, call the experts at Ierna’s Heating & Cooling. Our trained staff will get to the bottom of the problem quickly and correct it with professionalism and efficiency. Call us today to make an appointment!

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How Poor Heat Pump Installation Leads to Heating Repair

Monday, February 10th, 2014

While it might be tempting to hire the least expensive contractor you can find, but it’s important to make sure that your technician is properly licensed and trained to work with your system. One of the main reasons that heat pump installation should remain out of the hands of amateurs is that a poor installing job will lead to numerous heating repair needs. The money you believe you’ll save with amateur installers will end up going into years of repair work. Instead of going this route, start off right and call Ierna’s Heating & Cooling for heat pump installation.

Heating Repair Issues from Poor Installation

Probably the most common problem that can arise from a shoddy installation job is from leaky connections between the indoor cabinet and the ductwork. The ducts must maintain a tight seal with the cabinet at all times or it will result in a plunge in air pressure. The ducts will to be repaired, sealed, and sometimes rebuilt around the heat pump to allow them to fit correctly.

Low refrigerant is another issue that happens because a heat pump was installed incorrectly. There’s a good chance the installers put in too little refrigerant or put in the wrong refrigerant blend. Other installation mistakes can lead to leaking around the seals where the refrigerant lines connect to other components. A loss of refrigerant is a serious problem that will lead to icing over the coils and a drop in efficiency eventually causing a total loss of heating and cooling power unless it is fixed.

Amateur installers will often create faulty connections from the heat pump to the power supply (causing tripped circuit breakers) as well as to thermostat (resulting in uneven temperatures or the heat pump refusing to come on when it should). Extensive electrical repair is usually required to fix this.

Make sure you have licensed professionals on the job from the beginning of the installation process, so you will have the right heater, at the right size, fixed up so it will run with as few problems as possible.

But even with the finest installation possible, a heat pump may eventually need repair work. Ierna’s Heating & Cooling has you covered there as well: we have NATE-certified technicians ready for your heating repair in Tampa, FL, any time of the day or night.

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Noises That Indicate a Need for Heat Pump Repair

Monday, January 27th, 2014

When a heat pump operates normally, it produces a soothing white noise. As the compressor comes on to begin heat exchange, it adds to the whirring sound of the fan. You should not hear any other noises aside from these when you have your heat pump running. If an unusual noise interrupts the peaceful humming of your home’s heat pump, it usually means something is wrong and the unit requires attention.

Here is a list of noises that point to a need for professional repair for your heat pump. Don’t delay, because the longer the problem persists, the more likely your heat pump will break down entirely. Contact Ierna’s Heating & Cooling for help with your heat pump in Tampa, FL. We can answer your call 24 hours a day.

Listen for these warning noises:

Clicks at start-up: The first time you turn on your heat pump after a long period of inactivity, you will probably hear a clicking noise; this is normal and should vanish soon. But if it persists, or you hear it at other times, it may mean a problem with the start capacitor. The capacitor sends electric voltage to the motors to catalyze them into starting. If this capacitor breaks, your heat pump will not run. A professional must look into this problem.

Clanking: This noise often indicates that a piece of equipment inside the indoor or outdoor cabinet of the heat pump has come loose and started to strike other components. Usually it is the fan belt, which can fray and loosen because of wear. This needs to be fixed immediately before it causes damage to other parts of the heat pump.

Grinding/shrieking: Both of these sounds point toward problems with the motors. Motors run the compressors and the fans, and if they begin to develop dirt along their bearings, it will lead to the shrieking noise. A motor with dirty bearings will soon burn out and require replacement. Grinding sounds usually mean too much stress on the mechanical parts of a motor because of lack of lubrication or a dirty components. A motor making this noise usually needs to be replaced.

Enroll in preventive maintenance

You can prevent most of these problems from occurring with a regular maintenance program from a trusted contractor that provides an annual check-up for your heat pump. Technicians will look for places where components are wearing down, and clean the unit so grime will not threaten the moving parts. You’ll not only have a heat pump out of danger of needing repairs, you’ll have a heat pump working at prime energy efficiency.

Call Ierna’s Heating & Cooling today for repairs and maintenance for your heat pump in Tampa, FL.

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The Refrigerant in Your Heat Pump: What You Need to Know

Monday, January 6th, 2014

Heat pumps are impressive heating and cooling systems, and ones which are gaining popularity across many parts of the US. Heat pumps work just like your central air conditioner, yet can provide heat to keep your home comfortable all winter long.

The way a heat pump does both of its jobs is through a chemical compound called refrigerant. In this post, we’ll explain a bit more about what refrigerant is, how it allows the heat pump to do its job, and a few things to watch out for. Taking care of trouble with refrigerant requires the work of skilled technicians, so rely on a company like Ierna’s Heating & Cooling for help with your heat pump in Tampa, FL.

Refrigerant basics

Refrigerant is a chemical compound—the different types are called “blends”—that requires only a small amount of energy to change from a liquid to a gas and back again. The earliest systems used chemicals that were either toxic or flammable, but modern heat pumps use safe blends referred to by the general name “Freon” (a trademark of DuPont). The main blend used today is R410A and is replacing an earlier blend, R22.

Refrigerant is responsible for the movement of heat from one set of coils in the heat pump to another; this is the process called heat exchange that allows a heat pump to warm your house during the winter (the refrigerant absorbs heat from the outdoor coils, releases it to the indoor coils) and cool it during the summer (the refrigerant absorbs heat from the inside coils, and releases it to the outdoor coils).

Refrigerant does not dissipate during normal operation of the heat pump. The refrigerant remains at the same level—its “charge”—as it changes between liquid and gas states. However, leaks can sometimes develop in heat pumps from corrosion, loose connections, or damage, resulting in a loss of refrigerant. When this occurs, a heat pump will start to develop icing over its coils and lose its ability to provide conditioned air.

It requires the work of a trained technician to find and seal refrigerant leaks, and then recharge the refrigerant to its regular level.

Don’t let refrigerant problems take away the great advantages of a heat pump in Tampa, FL! Call Ierna’s Heating & Cooling day or night for heat pump and AC repair service.

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How Does a Heat Pump Provide Heating in Cold Temperatures?

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

Heat pumps operate on the same principle as a standalone air conditioner: they use the cycling of refrigerant to move heat from one location and put it in another. During hot weather, the direction of the heat exchange moves from the indoors to the outdoors: the heat pump takes heat from inside a home and places it outside. During cold weather, the direction switches (thanks to a reversing valve), and the heat pump removes heat from outdoors and puts it indoors.

But wait a minute, you might think, how does that work? How can a heat pump provide heat from the outside during cold weather? We’ll explain a bit in this post. But if your heat pump ever starts to struggle with giving you sufficient heating in Trinity, FL, call up our repair experts at Ierna’s Heating & Cooling—24 hours a day, 7 days a week—and they’ll solve your troubles.

Heat pumps can do the job in Florida weather

The truth about heat pump operation is that they do have trouble extracting heat from the outdoors when the temperature drops to frigid levels. Unless the outdoor temperature has reached absolute zero (and that would be bad news, but thankfully is scientifically impossible), there is some molecular motion occurring that produces heat, and so the heat pump has something it can extract.

But when the thermostat drops below freezing, the amount of ambient heat available for the heat pump to extract becomes so low that the heat pump will begin operating inefficiently. For this reason, people who live in regions of the country that experience harsh winters need to have back-up systems like a propane-powered furnace to assist the heat pump.

However… you don’t live in one of those icy states. You live in Florida. And Florida is one of the best places in the country to have a heat pump installed. They provide effective air conditioning all through the long summers (and help remove humidity from your indoor air) and rarely have to worry about a below-freezing day during the heat.

You should definitely place a heat pump high on your shopping list of systems to install for your heating in Trinity, FL. If you already have a heat pump working for you, make sure it gets proper repairs and maintenance. Ierna’s Heating & Cooling can handle all your heat pump needs with our NATE-certified technicians.

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