Heat Pump Repair : Your Expert Guide

Heat pumps are an essential component of many commercial HVAC systems, helping to regulate temperatures and maintain comfortable working conditions year-round. However, like any mechanical system, heat pumps can experience wear and tear over time. That is where understanding the basics of heat pump repair can come in handy.

Heat pumps work by transferring heat from one location to another. They use a refrigerant that is circulated through a closed loop system that includes an indoor and outdoor unit. In heating mode, the refrigerant absorbs heat from the outside air or ground, and releases it indoors. In cooling mode, the process is reversed, and the refrigerant absorbs heat from the indoor air and releases it outside. Heat pumps can be more efficient than traditional heating and cooling systems, because they move heat rather than creating it from a fuel source.

What Are The Main Components Of A Heat Pump?

Before you can repair a heat pump, it helps to understand the main components.

Air Source Heat Pump

Heat Pump Diagram from energy.gov

  • Reversing valves change the flow of refrigerant, which will determine if your interior space is cooling or heating.
  • Thermostatic expansion valves regulate the flow of refrigerant, just like a faucet valve regulates the flow of water.
  • The accumulator is a reservoir that adjusts the refrigerant charge depending on seasonal needs.
  • Refrigeration lines and pipes connect the inside and outside equipment.
  • Thermostat or the control systems set your desired temperature.
  • Compressor moves refrigerant through two sets of coils.

Heat Pump Repair Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting a commercial heat pump can be complex and requires some knowledge of HVAC systems. Here are some general steps you can follow:

  1. Check the thermostat: Make sure the thermostat is set to the appropriate temperature and in the correct mode (heating or cooling). If it’s a programmable thermostat, check the settings to ensure they are correct.
  2. Check the air filter: A dirty air filter can restrict airflow and cause the heat pump to malfunction. Check and replace the air filter if needed.
  3. Inspect the power source: Check the power supply to the heat pump to make sure it is getting electricity. Check the circuit breaker and fuses to make sure they are not tripped or blown.
  4. Check the outdoor unit: Check the outdoor unit to make sure it is clear of debris and obstructions. Remove any debris or dirt that may be restricting airflow.
  5. Gauge refrigerant level: Low refrigerant levels can cause the heat pump to malfunction. Check the refrigerant level and add more if needed.
  6. Check the condenser coils: Dirty condenser coils can cause the heat pump to malfunction. Clean the condenser coils with a soft brush or use a commercial coil cleaner.
  7. Check the reversing valve: The reversing valve switches the heat pump from heating to cooling mode. If it is faulty, the heat pump may not function properly. Have a professional check and replace the valve if necessary.

Tools You May Need

Technician servicing a leaking refrigerant line on a Heat Pump

The specific tools needed to repair a heat pump will depend on the nature of the repair and the type of heat pump. However, here are some common tools that may be necessary:

  1. Multimeter – to check for voltage, resistance and continuity.
  2. Refrigerant gauges – to check the refrigerant level and pressure.
  3. Vacuum pump – to remove air and moisture from the system.
  4. Torque wrench – to tighten bolts and nuts to the correct specifications.
  5. Screwdrivers – both Phillips and Flathead to remove panels and screws.
  6. Pliers – for gripping and twisting components.
  7. Pipe cutter – for cutting copper or other tubing.
  8. Pipe bender – to bend copper tubing.
  9. Flaring tool – for creating flare connections.
  10. Hex keys – for removing or tightening hex screws.
  11. Electrical tape – for insulating wires.
  12. Leak detector – to identify refrigerant leaks.

It’s important to note that heat pump repair can be complex and potentially dangerous. It’s generally recommended to have the repair done by a licensed and experienced HVAC technician.

The Importance Of Heat Pump MaintenanceTroubleshooting a Rooftop Unit

Regular maintenance is essential for ensuring the proper functioning and longevity of a heat pump. Maintenance can prevent unexpected breakdowns and costly repairs, increase efficiency, extend the lifespan, improve indoor air quality, and maintain the warranty. By fixing small issues before they turn into bigger problems, regular maintenance can save money in the long run. Maintaining a heat pump includes tasks such as changing air filters, cleaning outdoor units, checking refrigerant levels and scheduling professional maintenance once a year.

Talk To The Experts

Call us at 1-800-237-3141, email sales@rasmech.com or contact us online. We can work on all types of heat pumps, including: Trane, Carrier, RHEEM, Daikin, Mitsubishi Electric Company and more.