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Understanding Your Heat Pump: Compressor Problems

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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