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How Heat Pump Repairs Are Different from AC Repairs


Heat pumps are the ideal choice for home comfort in our climate. Congratulations on choosing the most-efficient possible heating system you can get, all in one amazing package that also provides air conditioning! But if you’ve never had a heat pump before, you might have some questions. 

What makes a heat pump different from an air conditioner? What maintenance do heat pumps require? How are heat pump repairs different from air conditioning repairs? Don’t worry, we’ve got answers for you.

What Makes a Heat Pump Different from an Air Conditioner?

The main system of a heat pump is exactly the same as an air conditioner. A compressor in the outdoor unit pressurizes refrigerant. The refrigerant flows through coils, evaporating and condensing, absorbing heat in one location and releasing it in another. In fact, there’s only one major difference that sets heat pumps apart.

In a heat pump, that refrigerant flow is reversible. Instead of always absorbing heat in the same first location and always releasing it in the same second location, it can do the opposite. This is how it can carry heat into your home in the winter. The way it does this is with a reversing valve, a component that opens or blocks off pathways for refrigerant to flow through, changing the direction in which heat is transferred.

What Maintenance Do Heat Pumps Need?

Just like the maintenance performed on an air conditioner, heat pump maintenance involves cleaning the indoor and outdoor units, lubricating moving parts, and inspecting and testing all components of the system. Maintenance keeps everything running smoothly, so that both performance and efficiency are improved and wear and tear are kept to a minimum. By catching minor issues early, maintenance also prevents repair needs.

Unlike an air conditioner, your heat pump works full-time, not taking winters off to rest and recuperate each year. This means that it functions as both your AC and your heating system, and since it does twice the work, it needs twice the maintenance. Heat pump maintenance should be performed two times per year, generally in the spring and fall.

How Are Heat Pump Repairs Different from AC Repairs?

There are two major things that can be different when your heat pump needs repair. The first is that heat pumps might require repairs in winter. The second is that sometimes, it’s that one unique component, the reversing valve, which needs repair. 

In order for the reversing valve to work properly, a signal is sent from the thermostat, through electrical wires, to an electromagnet called a solenoid. The solenoid puts pressure on, or releases pressure from, a slider that controls the direction the refrigerant is flowing. A problem with the thermostat, the wiring, or the solenoid can cause the reversing valve to be stuck in one position, unable to switch from heating to cooling.

Luckily, this is straightforward to repair. The only other thing to keep in mind with your heat pump is that when you do have a problem, prompt repairs are essential. Delaying repairs can put unnecessary strain on the compressor, which is a very expensive component that you don’t want to worry about replacing! 

Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or need to schedule maintenance or heat pump repair in Hammond, LA.

When you need it done right, contact Professional Heating & Air.

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