Common Heat Pump issues…

Most heat pumps in Tasmania are a “split system”, where you have an inside unit (often call the “head” unit) and an outside unit. The following items outline the most common issues to affect heat pump systems, in our experience:

Outdoor Unit
  • Spiders enter the unit and can cause drainage areas to block up and the process control board to short out.
  • The drainage mechanisms can block up, which leads to the compressor rusting out and can cause general damage to the unit.
  • The blanket over the compressor (which insulates it) becomes damp and causes rust and mould.

Indoor Unit
  • The drain pan can retain stagnant, bacteria-laden water, so needs to be fully drained and cleaned. This can help to improve the air quality in your home.
  • Pre-filters become engrained with dust, so need to be washed and dried. This should be done on a monthly basis by you when the heat pump is used consistently.

Both internal and outdoor units:
  • The fan scroll becomes clogged with dust, thus increasing friction and noise, as well as potentially unbalancing the fan shaft. The bearings can then wear out which can lead to a whining noise. Often the noise is not picked up by the customer as they become accustomed to it over the years. When the fans have to work harder, too much power can be drawn through the electrical boards, which can lead to a short circuit.
  • The internal and external unit coils become covered with dust (or spider webs in the case of the outdoor unit), which then makes the entire system need to work harder to generate the same amount of warm or cool air. As the system is working harder, this will shorten the unit life and make the system less efficient and less cost effective.
  • Air quality decreases when dust is being recycled and bacteria and algae (stagnant water) is not adequately flushed out. Note: severe algae problems mostly only occur in warmer climates only.

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