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December 16, 2016

2 Common Heat Pump Questions in Wilmington

Heat pumps are units that function as both a heater and an air conditioner. Since they operate differently than traditional furnaces, homeowners are often confused about what counts as normal operation and when there is a problem. The most common problem heat pump owners experience is an iced over unit, especially when the temperature drops below freezing. But as we discussed last week, this may not be a true problem as heat pumps are designed to deal with small amounts of ice. There are two other common questions homeowners have that are generally explained by normal operation:

My Heat Pump is Blowing Cold Air!

If you are accustomed to traditional furnaces, you may think your heat pump is blowing cold air when it is, in fact, operating correctly. The air produced by heat pumps is much cooler than the air put out by gas or oil furnaces. A furnace is designed to pump a lot of heat into your home for short periods of time, whereas heat pumps produce less heat for longer periods of time.

Furnaces tend to emit 130-140 degree heat, making it very noticeable when they’re not operating correctly. Conversely, on an average day a heat pump may only produce 92 degree air, and if the outside temperature is extremely cold, the output may only be 85 degrees. Since this is less than our body temperature, it feels like the air blowing through the vents is cold. However, it is still warmer than your home’s indoor temperature and therefore adding heat to your home.

If you’re not sure if it’s your heat pump or you, you can measure the air temperature coming from your vents. If it is warmer than the air temperature in your home, there is no problem. However, if the air coming from your vents is colder than the air in your home or the set temperature in your thermostat, there is a problem with your heat pump. This could be something as simple as the thermostat being switched into air conditioning mode or low refrigerant levels. It could also indicate a more serious problem, such as a bad reversing valve or a malfunctioning compressor. Contact your Wilmington heating technician for repairs.

My Heat Pump is Constantly Running!

Unlike a regular furnace, a heat pump’s design means it will run almost constantly during extremely cold weather conditions (below 35 degrees). Their lower temperature output means longer run times than furnace owners are used to. However, if the outside temperature is above 35 degrees and your heat pump still seems to run all the time, it could indicate a problem.

You may also see a higher than average electric bills, lower supply temperatures, and even icing on the outside unit. These are signs your unit isn’t running properly. Your unit may simply need to be cleaned and serviced, or it could require more extensive repairs. Your Wilmington heating technician can get your heat pump back in shape quickly.

Expert Heating Repairs in Wilmington

Gold Star’s technicians are available 24/7 to make sure your home’s heater is running this winter. Call us at 1-302-947-8694 for all your heating needs.

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