Heat Pump Troubleshooting Advice: Before calling a heating and air conditioning company, check the following:
- Check selections on thermostat. Ensure that it is set to the desired settings.
- Check power supply. This can include a circuit breaker and or/a regular looking wall switch close to the unit
- Check for freezing up of air conditioner or heat pump units. If the air conditioner or heat pump unit is frozen turn it off. Check the air filter(s) to make sure they are not clogged or obstructed in any way. If you find no problems leave the unit turned off and call a service company.
- Is the air handler blower working good and blowing air out of all of the supply vents? If not or it is weak then you likely have an airflow issues. Always make sure you have a clean filter and that all of your supply vents are open and unobstructed. If this is all good then you have another problem with the airflow. Maybe a bad blower motor or the unit is freezing up inside the evaporator coil. In any of these cases it is time to call an HVAC repair service.
- Is the condenser fan motor turning at the heat pump condenser? Word of note – sometimes in the winter or when you have the heat pump in heating mode the fan will not turn while the compressor is running. This is normal and a part of the automatic defrost mode for the heat pump. If the fan is not turning but you hear the compressor running then something is wrong (unless as noted above with defrost mode) and you need to call a professional.
- Other things to look for with some issues regarding heat pumps include a condenser with excessive ice on the coils in the winter. This means the defrost mode isn’t working properly and may need a minor adjustment or a rapair altogether. It is best to call a pro to fix that issue. In the summer if the evaporator coil has ice on it or any of the copper pipes have ice on them then you have a problem that needs the attention of a professional.
Start Capacitors for HVAC Compressors – HVAC single phase compressors always come hooked up to a run capacitor to help the compressor when it is running however very few HVAC compressors come with a start capacitor. Most HVAC technicians know that the air conditioner or heat pump compressors pulls a lot of amps on start up and this large amount of amperage draw on start up is referred to technically as locked rotor amps or inrush current and can be as much as 40,000 watts or more of pure power to get an HVAC compressor started. That large amount of amperage on the compressor windings over and over again can slowly degrade or eat away at the life of the compressor as it starts over and over again during the summer for the air conditioner and year round for the heat pump. The run capacitor does little to help the compressor on start up so in certain circumstances the manufacturer will recommend installing a start capacitor on new installations and it is a prudent thing to add a start capacitor to older installations where we need to give the compressor a slight boost on start up. There are two ways we can do this job of helping the compressor start. The first method is usually for older installations on compressors that are having issues starting and most technicians use this method when they encounter a compressor with problems. The technicians use a hard start kit which is usually available at the local HVAC supply house and is easily hooked up to the compressor wiring following the directions on the hard start kit wiring diagram. Of course every HVAC tech knows it is important for safety to turn off the power to the unit and discharge any capacitors before proceeding otherwise serious injury or worse can occur.
Motor Capacitors Available here for Purchase
High Performance HVAC Jobs and Careers
HVAC Jobs and Careers – So you want to become an HVAC Technician and want to know how to find a successful career? It’s not easy but here’s some help for you. First of all you need a good foundation of the basics and it would help if you understood the different types of jobs you can find by pursuing a career in HVAC. The education foundation will take you very far and will lead better jobs. To get this foundation you need to study and read. Burn those books up and study so that you can understand basic principles. Take some courses at the local university or trade school and find yourself a job working for an HVAC company. The HVAC books will help you with theory in temperature relationships (Basic physics) and electrical theory which is important to understand if you want go far in the trade. (more…)
What you will learn from Troubleshooting Broken Thermostats article:
- One of the most common trouble calls for HVAC
- Basic checks of the thermostat to see if it is broken or?
- The basics of the thermostat
- Learn what a heating anticipator is and what type of thermostat uses them.
- Lots of related useful links to help you learn your HVAC system
Troubleshooting Broken Thermostats – The main connection between the air conditioning and heating system and the end user is the thermostat. Beyond the air conditioning and heating thermostat many people know nothing about their systems that keep them comfortable year round.