Boehmer Heating & Cooling Blog : Posts Tagged ‘Heat Pump’

What Can Happen if Your Heat Pump Loses Refrigerant

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

The heat pump is one of the most efficient types of home comfort systems available for both heating and cooling. More and more, people are making the switch to heat pumps since they require little energy to run and may last longer than many other types of AC systems. However, like any type of electro-mechanical unit, a heat pump requires maintenance in order to run properly and offer the best performance. And one of the key steps of heat pump maintenance involves checking the refrigerant levels.

The term “heat pump” is a bit confusing as it leads many people to believe these are mostly used for heating purposes. However, the design of a heat pump is much closer to that of a standard home air conditioner. Heat pumps use refrigerant to cycle throughout the major components of the system in order to carry out heat exchange. In the summer, a heat pump uses refrigerant to absorb heat from the air in your home and move it outdoors. In the winter, it uses refrigerant to absorb heat form outside, even in very cool weather, to bring into the home.

As you can see, refrigerant, a chemical blend with the ability to convert easily from gas to liquid state and vice versa, is vital in heat pump operation. When refrigerant leaks, you simply cannot get the heating and cooling power that you need as the heat exchange process is jeopardized. But sometimes, the diminishing heating or cooling power is still tolerable, which leads many to believe they can continue to run their system on low refrigerant.

However, you should keep in mind that this is simply not an option. If you continue to run your heat pump at all with leaking refrigerant, you can damage a couple of key components. For one, you may force the indoor coil to freeze over during the evaporation process. But more importantly, you could damage the compressor, one of the most important (and costly) parts of your whole unit.

Only a trained and certified professional can work with refrigerant safely. Call Boehmer Heating & Cooling whenever you experience problems with your heat pump in Brentwood. We know how risky it is to wait for repairs so we’ll get the job done quickly and professionally.

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Why Your Heat Pump Is Stuck in Cooling Mode

Friday, March 28th, 2014

Answer as fast as you can: What is the great advantage of having a heat pump?

Did you respond “It works as both a heater and an air conditioner?” You most likely did, since the reason most people opt to have a heat pump installed in their home is that is takes care of two installations at once and simplifies their lives.

So if the heat pump in your home loses one of its two modes and starts blowing out cold air when you want warm air, you need to have professionals come to your home and find out what needs repair.

There are a few reasons that a heat pump might become stuck in cooling mode (or heating mode, as is sometimes the case). Most of them will need repairs from trained technicians. Call Boehmer Heating & Cooling when you need heating repair in Pittsburgh, PA for your malfunctioning heat pump. We have live operators standing by 24/7 for emergency service.

Reasons a Heat Pump Won’t Switch Modes

The most common cause for a heat pump to remain fixed in cooling mode is a broken reversing valve. This component sits along the refrigerant line and is responsible for changing the direction that refrigerant moves through the pump. Essentially, the reversing valve is what makes a heat pump different from an air conditioner, and if it breaks down, it will leave you with an air conditioner. (As mentioned above, it could also leave you with it heater. It depends on how the manufacturer set the reversing valve’s “relaxed” state, the one where it doesn’t receive an electric charge.)

Fortunately, a broken reversing valve is a simple fix for a technician. He or she will swap out the old valve for a new one. New reversing valves are a basic part of most technician’s vans when attending to heat pump problems.

Another reason for a heat pump staying in one mode is a thermostat issue. A faulty wiring connection can cause thermostat to lose its connection to the system that signals for it to begin heating. This is a simple wiring fix for a technician, but don’t attempt to pull the unit off the wall and fiddle with the wires yourself; you will probably only cause the problem to get worse.

If the air that comes from the vents isn’t cold but instead feels room temperature, the trouble may be a loss of refrigerant. Check to see if icing has started over the outdoor coils, then call for repairs.

Heat pumps are among the more complex comfort devices available for homes today, and they require a precise balance of components to work properly. Do not trust any repairs to amateurs, and do not go the “do-it-yourself” route. Look to the Pittsburgh, PA heating repair professionals at Boehmer Heating & Cooling.

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Benefits of Using a Heat Pump in Pittsburgh

Monday, April 1st, 2013

At Boehmer Heating & Cooling, we do everything we can to ensure that our clients are able to keep their homes comfortable throughout the entire year. That is why we offer such a great selection of home heating and air conditioning systems to choose from, as well as a wide array of outstanding HVAC services. We also like to help our customers keep comfortable in the most efficient way possible. We know how expensive it can be to heat and cool a home. If you are interested in an efficient alternative to traditional heating and cooling systems, give us a call to learn more about the benefits of using a heat pump in Pittsburgh.

One great benefit of using a heat pump in Pittsburgh is the fact that it acts as both a heating and air conditioning system. This means that you only need to invest in one system in order to keep your home comfortable throughout the year. When you schedule your heat pump installation with a qualified professional you can count on a great, reliable performance, no matter what season it is.

Of course, many home comfort system options double as both heating and cooling systems. What truly sets a heat pump apart is the great benefit of its outstanding efficiency. Heat pumps are among the most efficient heating and cooling systems available. The more efficient a heating and cooling system is, the less it costs to keep your home comfortable.

The key to the great efficiency with which heat pumps operate is their dependence on the heat transfer principle to heat and cool your home, as opposed to the consumption of fuel. A heat pump uses just a small amount of electricity to transfer heat into or out of your home, unlike a traditional system. By transferring existing heat, a heat pump is able to keep you comfortable while using very little energy. This is not only a great benefit to your budget but also to the environment.

To learn more about the benefits of using a heat pump in Pittsburgh, call Boehmer Heating & Cooling. We have the answers to all your questions. Let us keep you comfortable with greater efficiency than ever before.

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Do you know how to maintain your heat pump?

Friday, April 27th, 2012

Heat Pump Maintenance | Pittsburg | Boehmer Heating and CoolingA heat pump provides a number of benefits over traditional heating and cooling. The versatility of a heat pump means having reliable comfort control every day of the year.  Generally heat pumps are more efficient, however they do still need to have some regular maintenance in order to make sure that they continue to effectively heat or cool your home. The average homeowner can change the filters monthly and make sure that the components are clean, but you will need a professional HVAC technician to perform some of the maintenance tasks. The technician will check things like the air flow and refrigerant charge, as well as inspect the electrical systems.

 

Annual maintenance will not only help you cut down on future repairs, but it will also save money on your utility bills. Check out our maintenance plans to help with your Pittsburgh area heat pump and home comfort system maintenance.

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McKeesport HVAC Tip: History of Heat Pumps

Monday, April 16th, 2012

Thermal energy is the natural movement from warm temperatures to colder temperatures creating energy in the change of temperature to the mass.  A heat pump typically is a device that moves the air (or other matter) in the opposite direction from its natural flow.

Your McKeesport heat pump uses an intermediate fluid called a refrigerant which absorbs heat as it vaporizes and releases the heat when it is condensed,  using an evaporator to absorb the heat (or energy) from inside an occupied space and forcing this heat to the outside through the condenser. The key component that makes a heat pump different from an air conditioner is the reversing valve which allows for the flow direction of the refrigerant to be changed, allowing the heat to be pumped in either direction.

Timeless Technology

While mechanical movement of this energy, what we can actually call a pump,  has been a relatively recent invention,  the concept of this principal of physics has been in use since ancient times. Harnessing the power of geothermal energy (produced from the heat of the earth itself), natural hot springs “pumped” warm air into cool spaces in China and Europe thousands of years ago.

By 1852, Lord Kelvin had theorized the heat pump, but it took nearly 100 years to actually build one.  In the last half century, the technological advances have made heat pumps part of our lives in many ways.

First Pump

In the 1940s a man named Robert Webber was motivated to build the first known heat pump while tinkering with his refrigerator.  Accidently burning his hand on the outlet pipes of the cooling system, he was quite painfully awakened to an idea about the transference of heat.

Recognizing the freezer was constantly producing heat to cool its interior, he connected the outlet pipe to the storage tank of his hot water heater, extended that into a flow through pipes which heated air nearby, and  then used a fan to blow the warmth into another room.

The first heat pump was a crude, but effective method to provide comfort.  Creating a full-size version soon after, Wagner could heat his entire home.

Heat and Electricity

Today McKeesport heat pumps are built in many ways and shapes to heat or cool buildings of many sizes. As technological improvements are refined, heat pumps promise to play an important part in our futures.

 

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Ross HVAC Contractor’s Guide: Heat Pump Load Calculation

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

When purchasing a heat pump in Ross, the first thing you should do is determine what type of heat pump you want and how big it needs to be to provide ample heating and cooling to your home. If you’re unsure what you need, here are some tips to size a heat pump for your home’s particular needs.

The Importance of Sizing

Before buying anything, consider the cost of an oversized heat pump. A lot of homeowners opt for the biggest device on the market, but they don’t realize that they’re paying more than necessary for their device. An oversized device cycles on and off more often than is necessary and wears down much faster, resulting in an increased electric bill and faster wear on the device. It’s not good for your heat pump or your wallet.

How to Size

To correctly size a heat pump, the first step is to perform a load calculation. This is done by measuring the total volume of the rooms being heated (in cubic meters) and then determining the heating factor based on the type of insulation used.

There are different measurements depending on the type and R-rating of your insulation. For example, a single external wall without any additional insulation has a heating factor of 15. The number of external walls, the insulation in those walls and/or the ceiling and the rating of the insulation will determine the total heating factor for the room.

You will then divide the room volume by the heating factor to determine the number of KW (converted to BTUs) needed to heat that particular room.

Professional Sizing

The reason it is so important to call a professional is that certain things, like poorly insulated windows, cracks in the foundation, leaks in the ducts and other issues can have an impact on the overall heating factor measurement. Additionally, the type of heat pump you choose must be effective when connected to an air handler for your entire home. A professional can make these measurements and ensure the right sized device is selected.

If you’re unsure about anything related to sizing and selecting a new heat pump for your home, call a Ross professional in. They will perform a full load calculation and present your options for a new heat pump based on those calculations.

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Is a Heat Pump Right for Your Home? A Guide from Carnegie

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

Deciding which type of home comfort system to go with in Carnegie can be a difficult process to navigate. There are a ton of factors to take into account including how much you will be using the system, what type of fuel you mainly rely on and what the specific climate is like where you live.

Heat pumps are a great home comfort solution for many people but they aren’t always the appropriate choice. However, there are many benefits to going with a heat pump system, so this is certainly an option you should keep in mind as you evaluate your options.

Heat pumps work by extracting heat from the air in one place and then transferring that heat to another space. For instance, in the winter, heat pumps take heat from the outside air and pump it into your house. In the summer, on the other hand, your heat pump will be able to take heat from your indoor air and pump it back outside, thereby keeping your home cool and comfortable.

Heat pumps are also extremely energy efficient because they don’t actually have to generate the heat they pump. Unlike furnaces, which take in fuel and convert it into heat, heat pumps simply harness the heat that’s already there, making them by far the more energy efficient option.

Another benefit to heat pumps is that they maintain a more constant temperature than many other types of heating systems do. Rather than pumping in a big blast of hot air and then waiting until the temperature indoors falls below a preset level before doing it again, heat pumps provide a relatively constant stream of warm air.

The initial amount of heat is smaller than what you might be used to from a furnace, but the cumulative effect means that you’ll be able to enjoy a much more consistently comfortable indoor environment.

It is important to evaluate the climate in your area before you decide to purchase a heat pump, though. These systems are extremely effective at heating and cooling your home as long as temperatures stay above the mid-thirties.

Below that, you may need to install some type of supplemental heating in order to keep your home warm enough on those really cold days. So if you live in an area where temperatures routinely dip below freezing for large portions of the winter, a heat pump might not be the most sensible solution for you.

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