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Serving The Greater
Coeur D’Alene & Spokane Area

Serving The Greater Coeur D’Alene & Spokane Area


ACI Northwest Blog

Common Heat Pump Repairs


While folks who have owned a home for many years may be pretty accustomed to the repairs that their familiar home systems commonly need, we’d like to provide some information for people in slightly different situations. Maybe you’re a newer homeowner. Or maybe you’ve recently replaced your air conditioner with a heat pump, or are considering doing so.

You probably know that heat pumps work as air conditioning systems and are also able to provide heating for the home. What does that mean in terms of maintenance and repair needs? Do heat pumps commonly require the same repairs as air conditioners? What are the differences? We’ll give you some helpful information.

Repair Needs Air Conditioners Also Have

Many of the problems a heat pump can encounter are the exact same as air conditioner problems. This is because many of the components are exactly the same between the two systems, and they work in the same way, absorbing heat from one place and then releasing it in another. Here are some common repair needs that both heat pumps and air conditioners encounter.

  • Refrigerant Leaks: Refrigerant is the chemical that flows through the coils, absorbing and releasing heat. A break or crack in a coil can allow refrigerant to escape. It must be patched up and the refrigerant must be refilled, or the system won’t work well enough and the compressor will be strained trying to work with insufficient refrigerant.
  • Ice on the Coils: This can happen for a variety of reasons, including loss of refrigerant, dust and dirt on the coils, a malfunctioning thermostat, poor airflow from a broken fan motor, or blocked condensate lines. It can also happen from a clogged air filter, so you can check that before deciding you need heat pump repair in Spokane, WA.
  • Electrical Problems: Issues with the electrical components of the system could affect any part of the wiring, from the thermostat to the blower fan motor. Clicking can be a sign of electrical problems. The most serious issue is the risk of fire, so if you smell burning, turn the unit off immediately and get professional repairs.

An Issue Unique to Heat Pumps

The main difference between air conditioners and heat pumps is that the refrigerant flow in a heat pump can be reversed. This is how it switches from cooling to heating: it simply changes where it is absorbing heat from and where it is releasing that heat. This is done with a component called the reversing valve, which opens or blocks flow in specific directions.

If your heat pump is stuck in one mode and won’t switch between heating and cooling, it’s a problem with the reversing valve. While this component is unique, it is also straightforward to repair. Often, the cause is a solenoid (a type of electromagnet) which needs to be replaced.

Heat Pump Maintenance

The maintenance requirements of your heat pump are more significant than the maintenance that an air conditioner requires. This is because it spends more of the year working hard to keep your home comfortable. It’s strongly recommended that maintenance be done twice a year.

If you have a concern about your heat pump, don’t ignore it or put it off. Prompt repairs can prevent a problem from worsening. 

ACI Northwest is here to help. Contact us today with any questions about heat pump maintenance or repair.

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