Tag Archives: heat pump

How to Troubleshoot 3 Common Heat Pump Problems

heat pump problems

Heat pumps can be among some of the most reliable appliances in your Mobile, Alabama, home. But even the best models need troubleshooting occasionally. Discover ways to troubleshoot common heat pump problems, so that you can quickly restore comfort.

Lack of Operating Power

A heat pump that doesn’t seem to turn on might cause alarm, but you can often resolve this problem with a simple fix. Check that the thermostat is actually on. Then check that it has been set to the correct heating or cooling setting or temperature.

If the heat pump doesn’t eventually power up, check the circuit breaker and reset if necessary. If there is still no power, contact your HVAC contractor for help.

Insufficient Heating or Cooling

When your heat pump’s performance suffers, your home will typically feel uncomfortably warm or cold. Troubleshoot this problem by adjusting the thermostat by five degrees and then monitoring the temperature in your home.

If that adjustment doesn’t have an effect, make sure the vents are open and unobstructed. Next, check the heat pump’s air filter and replace the filter if it is clogged with debris.

Frequent Operating Cycles

To run as efficiently as possible, your heat pump should cycle on and off with relative consistency. Does your heat pump turn on often and switch off after a short cycle? These short running cycles could be signs that the thermostat isn’t calibrated properly or that the heat pump isn’t sized properly for your home.

First, be sure you’ve programmed the thermostat to a sustainable 68 degrees in winter or 75 degrees in summer. If adjusting the thermostat doesn’t get your heat pump working correctly again, call one of our specialists to assess the size of your heat pump and your home’s heating and cooling needs.

Your HVAC system is a complex machine. Many problems could have the same results. It is a good idea to enlist the services of a professional who has the knowledge, tools, and experience.

Do your heating system issues go beyond some of these common troubleshooting problems? Call Keith Air Conditioning, Inc. at 251-476-3610 to speak with one of our heat pump experts today.

Effectively Using Your Heat Pump | Keith Air Conditioning

Save Energy by Effectively Using Your Heat Pump

home thermostat

Whether you need cooling or heating, you can control indoor temperatures year-round with a heat pump. In the winter months, a heat pump for your Mobile, Alabama home can provide the efficient and cost-effective heating you need. To keep your energy consumption low all winter long, try these three tips for effectively using your heat pump.

Use a Programmable Thermostat

By converting from a standard thermostat to a programmable model, you can make a huge impact on your home’s energy consumption. These programmable devices allow you to set comfortable temperatures during the time the family is at home and then turn the thermostat back 10 to 15 degrees while you are sleeping or away from home. Just by making this small change, you can save up to 15 percent on your heating bill each year. When you are shopping for a programmable thermostat, be sure to select one that has multi-stage settings for heat pumps.

Your Heat Pump Manages Humidity

Maintaining comfortable humidity levels is a constant struggle in Alabama, but heat pumps like the Infinity 20 with Greenspeed intelligence usually do remarkably well at moderating humidity. It is beneficial to have a system that controls temperature and efficiently regulates humidity as well. This helps with better management of indoor air quality.

Change Air Filters Frequently

Overworking your heat pump and causing it to run inefficiently can lead to serious energy loss. To ensure that your HVAC system does not get clogged with dirt and debris, be sure to change the air filters regularly. It is best to replace or change filters as soon as they become dirty. How often you need to do this depends on the type of filter you use. Some filters need to be replaced monthly — others, every three months. You will also need to change them regularly during seasons of heavy use.

Need more tips for optimizing your heat pump? Contact the heating professionals at Keith Air Conditioning, Inc. at 251-476-3610 for more advice.

Heat Pumps Are the Latest Air Conditioning Options

Keith Air ConditioningFor Mobile area homeowners who want a highly efficient and cost-effective source of residential cooling, heat pumps offer benefits that standard air conditioners can’t match. The following brief introduction can help you understand how a heat pump can keep your home comfortable throughout cooling season at a lower cost and with less use of energy.

Basic Heat Pump Function

Heat pumps work by moving heat from one place to another. For cooling operations, they pull heat out of your home and disperse it into the air outside. This is accomplished with a liquid refrigerant that circulates between the indoor and outdoor units of the heat pump. Indoors, the refrigerant is evaporated into a gas. As it changes state from liquid to gas, it absorbs heat. The gaseous refrigerant circulates to the outdoor unit, where it’s condensed back to liquid form. The gaseous refrigerant releases the heat it contains during this second change of state. The liquid refrigerant moves back to the indoor unit and the cycle begins again.

Heat Pump Benefits

Heat pumps are extremely energy efficient, which means they use less energy to produce excellent levels of cooling. They require minimal amounts of electricity to power the functions that generate cooling, which reduces overall demand on your local utility company. Their high rate of efficiency means that heat pumps are much less costly to operate on a month-to-month basis.

Heat Pump Types

Most heat pumps are air-source models, which means they use the air around the equipment as the source of heat transfer and release. Geothermal heat pumps use the ground outside your home, or a nearby body of water, as the medium for heat capture and release. Ask your local trusted HVAC contractor if a geothermal model would be right for you.

Learn more about Keith Air Conditioning’s heat pump options, or contact us today at 251-476-3610 to schedule an appointment for your Mobile area home!

Choosing a New Heating System For Your Home

Keith Air Conditioning, Inc. and HeatingChoosing a new heating system for your Baldwin County home can be a tough decision to make, especially with the wide variety of options available. Gas furnaces and air-source heat pumps are two popular options for most homeowners in the Mobile area. Hybrid systems are also gaining popularity thanks to their ability to combine both gas and heat pump-based heating for optimal efficiency. The following takes a look at all three of these options.

Gas Furnaces

When it comes to solid, reliable heating, gas furnaces are the gold standard, so it’s no surprise that many homeowners throughout Baldwin County choose gas furnaces as their primary heating system. Furnaces offer an affordable, reliable source of heat, regardless of outdoor conditions.

Gas-powered furnaces can also be surprisingly efficient for heating systems reliant on combustible fuels. Most furnaces offer annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) ratings of 90 percent or higher, meaning that at least 90 percent of the fuel used by a gas furnace is effectively converted into usable heat.

Many modern furnaces offer a 98 percent AFUE thanks to a variety of advanced features, including electronic ignition, secondary heat exchangers for condensing flue gases, and burners that work in concert with variable speed blowers to modulate heat delivery, thus preventing cold spots and eliminating the energy-robbing on/off cycle.

Air-Source Heat Pumps

An air-source heat pump is a unique type of heating system that operates a bit differently from the standard furnace. Instead of burning natural gas, oil or other fossil fuels to generate heat, heat pumps rely on the same basic principles that make air conditioning work, but in reverse.

Whereas a typical air conditioner is designed to extract heat from indoor air and expel it outdoors, a heat pump extracts the latent heat found in outside air and transfers it indoors. Even at temperatures just above freezing, a heat pump effectively and efficiently generates and distributes comfortable heat throughout your home.

Heat pumps are surprisingly energy efficient and economical to operate, with the typical heat pump being as much as 40 percent more efficient than a comparable gas-fired heating system.

In addition to having a heating system, you also have your air conditioning in the same unit. Tackling the summer heat is as simple as readjusting the thermostat. Once the heat pump switches to cooling mode, you can enjoy cool and comfortable temperatures in your home all summer long.

The Best of Both Worlds

Air-source heat pumps offer extraordinary efficiency until the point where outdoor temperatures drop below freezing. Gas furnaces offer reliable heat no matter the circumstances, but they lack the sheer efficiency of its heat pump counterpart. So why not combine them?

That’s exactly what a hybrid heating system does. Hybrid systems are designed to offer the best traits of both heat pumps and gas furnaces by combining the two within a single, unified package. These dual-purpose systems offer smart technology that allows an effortless transition between gas heat and heat pump operation according to weather demands.

For instance, a hybrid system can seamlessly transition to gas heat whenever outdoor temperatures fall below freezing, giving your home reliable heat under harsh weather conditions. When the mercury climbs above freezing temperatures, the hybrid system transitions back to heat pump operation.

Which Should You Choose?

All three heating options have their compelling attributes, but your final decision will likely depend on your immediate and long-term home needs. For new homes and renovations, a heat pump can make the most economic sense. You’ll save hundreds of dollars each year in heating costs when compared to other forms of heating, plus you’ll also have air conditioning available throughout the summer months.

If you already have a central air conditioning system and want to keep it around a while longer, choosing a gas furnace is a more economical solution than replacing the existing A/C with a heat pump. If you want to enjoy the benefits of both heating systems, investing in a hybrid heating system is your best bet. It’ll also help you avoid the problems faced by heat pumps during an unexpected cold snap, since you can rely on gas heat as a backup.

When it comes to choosing your next heating system, you can count on the pros at Keith Air Conditioning, Inc. to lend a helping hand. Contact us for all your installation and service needs throughout Mobile and Baldwin County.

Troubleshooting Your Heat Pump in the Winter

Keith Air Conditioning, Inc. Heat PumpIf you use a heat pump for heating in the winter, you’ve likely seen it ice up. If the heating system is working properly, the heat pump should eventually kick into a defrost cycle to melt the ice on the coil. However, an iced-over system can waste energy and eventually damage your equipment.

Why Is Your Heat Pump Icing Up?

The defrost cycle malfunctioning in some manner is the likely culprit. When air-source heat pumps get an electronic cue to defrost during their heating mode, a reversing valve should switch these appliances into air-conditioning mode, and the outside fan should shut off. Now in A/C mode, the refrigerant in the outside coil should heat up and melt the frost from the coil. After a short period of time, the system should return to normal heating mode, awaiting the next signal to defrost the coil.

This process has several steps and multiple components. If any one of them – whether reversing valve, sensors, refrigerant, timer, etc. – malfunctions, this can result in your heat pump icing up and staying that way.

What Can You Do About It?

In most cases, you’ll want a reliable HVAC technician to look at the system and address the icing issue. However, there’s plenty a homeowner can do to minimize the chances of the heat pump icing up. If the top of the outside unit is covered in ice, turn the system off and carefully remove the ice, but not with sharp objects. Don’t allow leaky rain gutters or melting icicles to drip on the outside unit, and push snow, leaves and other debris away from it. Most importantly, you can prevent icing by ensuring the HVAC system gets an annual maintenance check.

For more information on how to de-ice a heat pump in your Mobile area home, please contact us at Keith Air Conditioning, Inc.