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Troubleshooting Your Augusta GA Heat Pump: What Can You do and What You Should Leave for a Technician

Published on: June 8, 2012

We have a tendency to take our heating and cooling units for granted. We expect these systems to keep us warm during the winter and cool during the summer. We typically only think about heat pump or air conditioning repair and maintenance in Augusta GA when our systems aren’t functioning correctly or when they break down completely.

Heat Pump Basics
Heat pumps probably aren’t the first thing that comes to mind when we think of cooling a building on a hot summer day. The first thing that comes to mind is an air conditioner or fan unit, but air conditioners and heat pumps operate very similarly. A heat pump is an electrically powered climate control system that can both heat and cool. Since air conditioners function much like heat pumps, heat pump and air conditioning repair and maintenance work in the same way.

Proper Maintenance
Proper maintenance of cooling systems is critical, not just because small problems not addressed early can lead to bigger and more expensive heat pump or air conditioning repair later on, but proper operation will save energy. Changing the filter is probably the easiest and most effective thing a homeowner can do. If you run the unit periodically, a new filter every three months might be enough, but once a month is required if the unit is used frequently.

Maintenance for the Mechanically Inclined?
Heat pumps, like air conditioners, have a main outdoor component that is usually called the compressor unit. This unit can be the most vulnerable to natural elements and needs to be kept clean of debris. Most compressors have grilles that can be removed by undoing the latches or screws that keep it attached to the frame. By doing this, pine needles, leaves, dirt and other debris can be cleaned out using either a hose with a fine stream or a vacuum. However, it’s important that the unit is turned off and that you steer clear of any electrical components.

Maintenance That Requires a Professional
It’s important to realize that unless you’re mechanically inclined, any heat pump and air conditioner repair or maintenance should probably be left to a professional, as these units can contain hazardous components or materials that can be easily damaged. Common issues with cooling systems that require an expert technician usually include:

• Low airflow
• Temperature problems
• Leaky or noisy ducts
• Squeaking or rattling
• Grinding sounds
• Chemical leaks
• Unusual odors

Although general maintenance can usually be performed by the owner, it’s still important to have periodic inspections done by a professional. A professional heat and air conditioning repair technician can do the following:

• Verify that the thermostat is operating properly
• Check filters, ducts, blowers and coils for any obstructions
• Measure adequate airflow
• Seal duct leakage
• Inspect belts for wear
• Lubricate motor components
• Measure correct refrigerant charge or check for leaks
• Test electric terminals and, if necessary, clean and tighten connections or replace components
• Apply nonconductive coating if needed

Proper care is important for the life of your Augusta GA heat pump system, and it helps save energy, which requires both general and professional maintenance. Since maintaining heat pumps can be more technical than an average heating system, a professional technician is a must if the unit malfunctions in any way.