Raleigh Heating & Air Blog : Posts Tagged ‘Heat Pumps’

Does My Heat Pump Have a Refrigerant Leak?

Monday, February 12th, 2018

outdoor-unitHeat pumps are becoming more and more common in the residential sector. As homeowners look for more efficient and convenient ways in which to keep their homes comfortable throughout the year, the heat pump becomes undeniably attractive. This is thanks, in large part, to its use of the heat transfer process in heating one’s home. This process is thanks to the refrigerant cycle, which the heat pump is able to reverse in order to transfer heat into the home in the winter, and out during the summer.

For that reason, a refrigerant leak in your heat pump is of serious concern. The last thing that you want to do is to ignore the signs of a refrigerant leak, as doing so could lead to very serious problems developing with your heat pump. That means you need to learn how to spot signs of trouble with your heat pump to begin with. Today, we’ll be looking at some of those signs and helping you to better understand the function of the refrigerant in your heat pump. Contact our Cary, NC HVAC pros with any questions that you may have.

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How Does a Heat Pump Provide Both Heating and Cooling?

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

Heat pumps are popular choices for indoor comfort because they do two jobs: heating and cooling. Instead of relying on an air conditioner and a separate heater like a furnace to provide for your year-round comfort, you can have a heat pump installed and take care of the temperature for all seasons.

We’ll explain how a heat pump pulls off this remarkable feat… and does so while using a much smaller amount of energy than a furnace or boiler. If you want to schedule installation for a heat pump in Raleigh, NC, or you need repairs or maintenance for the one you already have, contact Raleigh Heating & Air and our NATE-certified heating technicians today.

Heat Pump Basics

A heat pump is almost the same as a standard air conditioner, so we’ll first explain how an AC works and then show how a heat pump changes it.

Air conditioners do not create cool air: they absorb heat from one area (the inside of a building) and release it to another (the outside), which provides the feeling of cooler air. To move heat, the AC uses a chemical blend called refrigerant that travels in a closed loop between two coils, changing from a gas to a liquid and back again as its temperature rises and falls. The indoor coil act as evaporators that absorb heat, and the outdoor coil act as condensers, releasing heat.

The difference with a heat pump comes from a component called a reversing valve that sits on the refrigerant line. The valve, as its name implies, reverses the direction the refrigerant moves. When this happens, the indoor and outdoor coils swap functions. Now, the heat pump absorbs heat from outdoors, and releases it indoors.

It may sound odd that a heat pump can remove heat from outside when the temperature is low, but unless there is no molecular motion in the air, there is always some heat available for the evaporator coil to extract. This is the only caution about heat pumps: in extreme low temperatures, they can start to lose their heating efficiency.

Raleigh Heating & Air offers excellent installation, maintenance, and repair for your heat pump in Raleigh, NC. Call us today for heat pump service or any other need you have for heating or cooling your home.

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Geothermal Heat Pump Repairs

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

There are many different ways you can heat your Cary, NC home, and they all have one thing in common – they will need repairs at some point. Even geothermal systems, which run a series of tubes below the frost line of the ground, will occasionally need service. Geothermal systems are able to heat your home because the temperature down there stays constant no matter what the weather is like outside, and a heat pump can transfer that energy to warm your home. The tubes themselves rarely suffer from damage, since they feature no moving parts and are safely out of harm’s way inside the earth. The heat pump, however, can suffer problems from time to time, just as all mechanical systems do.

Here’s a list of some common geothermal heat pump repairs:

  • Leaks: Leaking refrigerant can appear anywhere there’s a breach in the line or an imperfect fitting. That can severely interfere with the system’s ability to generate heat, forcing it to work harder and raising your monthly bills accordingly. A trained technician can hunt down the source of the leak and seal it before restoring the refrigerant to its required levels.
  • Fan problems: The blower fan moves the heated air into your home from the heat pump. Problems with the fan will severely restrict its ability to move the air. That can include a faulty fan motor, a frayed or broken fan belt, electrical problems depriving the motor of power, or a bent or misaligned fan blade itself.
  • Thermostat controls: The thermostat regulates the functioning of your geothermal heat pump, telling it when to turn on and off to heat your home. If the thermostat is faulty of if it’s placed somewhere that can’t accurately reflect the temperature (such as near a draft), then it will cause problems with the pump itself.

Geothermal heat pump repairs of all varieties can be conducted by the experts at Raleigh Heating & Air. We offer excellent heating repair services in Cary, NC and we can correct any problems you may be experiencing with courtesy and care. Pick up the phone and call us today to make an appointment. You’ll be glad that you did!

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Can I Really Rely on a Heat Pump

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

 “Is a heat pump a reliable heat source for the winter?”

If you’re asking this question, it probably means you’ve heard about one of the potential drawbacks of heat pumps: even though they can handle most air conditioning jobs, heat pumps can encounter trouble providing efficient warmth when the outdoor thermometer drops too far below freezing.

You are right to feel concerned… but then you should always feel concerned about any comfort system in your home. No heater or air conditioner exists that can handle every single condition thrown its way. Heat pumps are remarkable in that they provide the function of both an air conditioner and a heater, so already they offer higher reliability for seasonal changes than many HVAC systems.

A heat pump warms your house through a heat exchange process that moves heat from outside and shifts it inside. (The process reverses during the summer to provide you cooler temperatures.) Even during cold weather, heat is available for the heat pump to draw on and bring into your home.

However, when the outdoor temperature falls below 35°F, heat pumps will start to lose efficiency in drawing heat. However, this issue is not as problematic as it once was: heat pumps have increased dramatically in efficiency over the past 25 years. Additionally, most heat pumps are equipped with auxiliary heat – usually electric resistance coils that kick on when the outside temperature gets too low.

However, we still wouldn’t recommend heat pumps to every homeowner—especially if they lived somewhere with harsh winters. Fortunately, a heat pump in Raleigh, NC won’t have to deal with many extremely cold days: with Raleigh’s average winter lows in the upper 30s and low 40s, a heat pump is usually up to the job of keeping you cozy until you need it to change back to air conditioning mode.

Contact Raleigh Heating & Air if you are interested in having a heat pump installed in your home, or if you want repairs and maintenance for the one you already have. All our technicians are NATE-certified to assure top-quality service.

 

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The Importance of a Professional Cary Heat Pump Installation

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

A heat pump is one of the best options available for your home comfort system. Even though the name makes it sound like it provides only heat, a heat pump’s great advantage is that it can also function as an air conditioner. The design of a heat pump is very similar to that of a standard central AC, except it contains an additional mechanisms which allow it to reverse the direction of refrigerant and heat your home in the winter. During the cool months, a heat pump takes heat from outside and moves it inside; in the warm months it takes the heat from inside and moves it outside.

A heat pump is a complex machine, so when you want one installed in your home, you should not attempt to do it yourself or rely on amateur assistance. Hire professionals, like those at Raleigh Heating & Air for your Cary, NC heating installation.

Before installation even begins, it’s important to have professionals on the job. Experts will determine the proper size heat pump for your house, and figure out the best location to install it. If either of these is done poorly, the heat pump will have a hard time giving you the temperature you want.

Since most heat pumps use ductwork like a standard air conditioner, it is vital that the ducts remain intact and undamaged. Untrained work can easily warp and break ducts, and if that happens, the heat pump will suffer a major loss in efficiency. It can also lead to dust contamination and reduced air quality. Professionals work with ducts all the time and have the tools and knowledge to make hooking them up to your new heat pump a smooth process.

A professional installation will also prevent expensive repairs in the future. You may think hiring a friend with a bit of HVAC knowledge to handle the task will save you money, but the long-term expenses to fix the improper installation issues will far outweigh it. You’ll have fewer headaches if you get the installation done right on the first try.

At Raleigh Heating & Air, we’ve done heat pump installations for over two decades. When you hire us in Cary, NC for heating installation needs, you can trust that we’ll get the job done fast and with high quality workmanship. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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Getting the Most from Your Heat Pump

Monday, February 11th, 2013

With energy prices constantly on the rise, homeowners everywhere are looking for every opportunity to reduce their energy consumption. If you have a heat pump in your home in Raleigh, then you are likely enjoying comfortable heating and cooling all year long. But if you’ve started to notice that your utility bill is increasing, you probably are interested to know why and how to reduce it. At Raleigh Heating & Air, we want our customers to be comfortable in their homes and to get good efficient heating and cooling from their heat pumps. Here are some of the ways that you can get the most out of your heat pump in Raleigh.

Regular Heat Pump Maintenance in Raleigh

Perhaps one of the best ways to get the most out of your heat pump is to get it regularly maintained by a professional contractor in Raleigh. There are huge benefits for homeowners who have their heat pumps regularly tuned up. During regular maintenance visits your heat pump technician will thoroughly inspect and clean every aspect of your system. This will allow them to find any small issues and repair them before they cause your system to start performing poorly. This can potentially increase the efficiency of your system. It might also be able to extend the life of your heat pump. Small problems are often the cause of homeowners needing heat pump replacement.

Thermostat Upgrades

Another great way to potentially improve the performance of your heat pump is to upgrade your thermostats. The thermostats in your home control when your heat pump turns on and for how long. If you were to upgrade to a web enabled thermostat you may be able to gain more control over your home’s energy consumption. Web enabled thermostats connect to your home’s internet connection. You can access them from anywhere in the world using a computer or your smartphone. You can control when they turn on and when they turn off. They can also send you email alerts when your home starts to use too much energy.

Blower Door Testing

Blower door testing is a great way to find out exactly how efficient your home is. During these types of tests, technicians will seal off your home and attach a blower to your front door. This will create pressure in your home and allow us to find out exactly where any leaks are.

If you’re interested in getting the most out of your heat pump in Raleigh, call the experts at Raleigh Heating & Air today.

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