Probably the most vulnerable part of your heat pump system is your heat pump compressor. It’s the part of your heat pump that is directly responsible with the gas exchange that happens during the heating and cooling mechanisms.
But because it is one of the key components of your heat pump, you need to have utmost care when it comes to dealing with your compressor. And in the event that something untoward happens to your heat pump system, you need to know the basics of compressor repair to be able to understand exactly what the repairman wants to do with your heat pump system.
Basically, compressors increase the pressure of air that flows into a system like that of how a pump increases the pressure of water. Because your heat pump generally moves air from outside your home and then uses that to generate heat or cooling for the entire house, compressors are really important in the workings of any heat pump system.
Every time the compressor increases the pressure of the gas you can expect that the temperature also increases which provides for the heating capacity of the heat pump.
The most obvious signs of compressor related problems are that you hear noise coming from the compressor or probably the system won’t start at all. But you don’t always get those red flags every time your compressor encounters a major glitch. If your heat pump system isn’t heating or cooling the way it should be, it would be really wise for you to call in the specialist. You must insist though that he check all the other parts before concluding that the problem is your compressor. A good service technician will use certain gauge tools in order to confirm that there is a problem with your compressor. Usually, the suction will determine if your compressor is working efficiently or not.
Common Compressor Problems
If your heat pump is not cooling the way it should, yet it runs longer than the normal cycle should, the problem could be that the compressor has lost its ability to sufficiently compress the Freon, R-22 or other refrigerant that your heat pump is using.
Low amperage draws are often indicative of compressor wear and tear, and that it’s no longer efficient in changing the pressure of the air that goes into the system. The opposite of low amperage draws are high amperage current draws which indicates that the pistons of the compressor are on tightly inside the cylinders.
Abnormal pressure readings may also signify that there is indeed something wrong with your compressor. Your heat pump system will usually record pressure readings especially for compressor output and compressor input. If these readings seem too low or too high, with the help of your service technician, you may be able to safely point your finger at the compressor.
When to Replace and Not Repair
If the cost of fixing the compressor equates to that of the cost of purchasing a new system, you better just stick with the latter suggestion.