As with most other kinds of HVAC systems, though, these units can be a bit more complicated, with several moving parts and different systems involving electricity, plumbing, and other related disciplines. Geothermal and air heat pumps like any other kind of appliance or home system need regular maintenance to ensure they remain in top operating condition. Even with proper maintenance, though, there will occasionally be breakdowns necessitating geothermal, air heat pump repair expert support. When a problem with geothermal or air heat pumps strikes, it’s best to call on professionals from geothermal heating and cooling system repair services or heat pump repair services.
In the article, we will highlight the differences between geothermal heating and cooling system repair services and heat pump repair services. Next, we’ll dig into greater detail as to what geothermal and air-source heat pump systems are, and how they compare to one another. Then, we’ll discuss some of the advised everyday maintenance tasks, and the common repair issues and parts that tend to break down or have the highest propensity to cause headaches for owners. Finally, we’ll offer some advice on choosing the appropriate geothermal heating and cooling system repair or heat pump repair services company for your needs.
GEOTHERMAL HEATING AND COOLING SYSTEM REPAIR SERVICES AND HEAT PUMP REPAIR SERVICES – DIFFERENCES
The differences between geothermal heating and cooling system repair services and heat pump repair services generally stem from the differences in the underlying technologies of these two systems. Geothermal and air heat pump systems work on similar principles and have the same mechanical elements, so it is quite common to find companies that do both kinds of tasks. Also, depending on the area and other factors, all these skills may be brought under the heading of a single heating and cooling systems installation company, which handles all kinds of heating and cooling installations.
Regarding the specific differences between the systems, it all comes down to the heat sink or heat source. Air-source heat pumps use air as the source of heat, the exchange of air, interacting with the condenser/evaporator unit and coolant loops, is how it works. Geothermal systems work on the same principle, only they use the earth's warmth, the constantly mild temperature underground, as the energy source and heat sink, instead of the air heat.
With all of that said, make sure that your local geothermal heating and cooling system repair services or heat pump repair services company that you choose has the expertise and experience about the type of air or geothermal heat pump system you have. For advice on how to select the right heat pump repair services company for your needs, see the choosing the right company section near the end of this article.
GEOTHERMAL HEATING AND COOLING SYSTEM REPAIR SERVICES AND HEAT PUMP REPAIR SERVICES – GEOTHERMAL VS. AIR-SOURCE HEAT PUMPS
As mentioned above, geothermal and air-source heat pumps are mostly similar, though vary in their ultimate heat source/heat sink used. It means that the internal (in the house or office) hardware is very same. In both cases, existing forced-air system ductwork can usually be used. Both types of heat pump systems typically use an air handler cabinet, and a blower fan to force the cooled or heated air through the ductwork in the home. The differences generally start at the plumbing interface, before the coolant loops go outside the house.
In the case of a traditional air heat pump system, the coolant loops run to a condenser/evaporator unit outside the home (the familiar, washing machine-sized device that many have with their home air conditioning systems). That is where the heat transfer takes place and after the coolant loops go back into the home and to the heat pump unit.
Geothermal units, by contrast, have no outdoor exposed parts, which is one of their advantages regarding maintenance and service life. As the plumbing manifold, the coolant loops run out of the home into the ground, usually quite a way below ground. The heat exchange happens here as the loops run through the 50 to 60° F constant underground temperature. Then the loops proceed back into the home and plumbing system of the heat pump unit.
As most geothermal heating and cooling system repair services and heat pump repair services will point out, this means that geothermal systems are usually much more efficient at heating and cooling than traditional heat pump systems. Typically, a conventional heat pump offers 200-300% greater efficiency than old oil or gas furnaces. Geothermal systems tend to double that, usually have a minimum of 300% and a maximum of 600% greater efficiency.
GEOTHERMAL HEATING AND COOLING SYSTEM REPAIR SERVICES AND HEAT PUMP REPAIR SERVICES – TYPICAL MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR TASKS
Naturally, these differences in heat pump system design and sources/placement of heat exchange mechanisms present some differences in the typical maintenance and potential repair tasks that may be needed for each heat pump system. While the lack of an outdoor condenser/evaporator is a definite advantage to the service life and maintenance needs of a geothermal heat pump system, geothermal heating, cooling system repair services, and geothermal heat pump repair services companies point out that it can also be a disadvantage. If something breaks down in a traditional air heat pump system in the condenser/evaporator, it is relatively easy to access for repairs or any replacements. If something happens to the heat pump geothermal cooling loops, buried deep in the earth, a costly excavation, repair, and replacement may be needed.
In general, though, problems or repairs tend to be rare, especially on heat pump systems that are well maintained by their owners. Geothermal heating and cooling system repair services and heat pump repair services recommend annual maintenance tune-ups on both types of heat pump systems, typically consisting of the following tasks:
- Flush and rebalance of the heat pump coolant system, adding additional coolant and additives as needed.
- Check airflow out of the air handler unit, both volume, and temperature.
- Inspection of heat pump plumbing manifold and coolant lines for leaks, tighten and adjust fittings as necessary.
- Inspection and testing of electrical components of the air handler, blower, and condenser/evaporator, and any other related heat pump equipment.
- Lubrication or greasing of heat pump blower fan and condenser/evaporator fan motors.
- Inspection and replacement (if necessary) of capacitors and contractors, especially in outdoor condenser/evaporator units.
Even with regular heat pump maintenance, though, it is possible that either type of system can break down and stop working. The most common types of repairs that geothermal heating and cooling system repair services and heat pump repair services undertake include:
- The blower fan is not working.
- Coolant loss, leading to less heating or cooling performance.
- Leaking heat pump coolant lines.
- Blown-out electrical components in heat pump outdoor condenser/evaporator units.
- Electrical problems or shorts in indoor heat pump components.
- Broken geothermal heat pump cooling loops (rare).
GEOTHERMAL HEATING AND COOLING SYSTEM REPAIR SERVICES AND HEAT PUMP REPAIR SERVICES – CHOOSING THE RIGHT COMPANY
The best choice is usually the geothermal or air heat pump repair services company that installed your geothermal or air heating, cooling unit (assuming they offer heat pump repair and maintenance services as well, which most do). Failing that, there are many reputable air or geothermal heat pump system repair and maintenance services companies around. If you’re sure they work on the type of heat pump you have, then there are a few other key criteria to consider before making your selection of the right air or geothermal heat pump system repair services company to meet your needs. These considerations include:
- Services – what services exactly do they offer? Are they only able to do heat pump system maintenance, only able to do heat pump system repairs, or both? Do they work on other HVAC system types or specializing just in one or two?
- Reputation – does the heat pump repair services provider have a good reputation? How are the reviews from customers? Do you know someone who has used geothermal heating and cooling system repair services or heat pump repair services before, and if so, who do they recommend?
- Experience – how long have they been in the geothermal heating and cooling system repair services business? How many heat pump repair jobs have they completed? How many satisfied customers do they have?
- Licenses/Certifications – are they bonded/licensed by the heat pump manufacturer, a state where they work?
- Safety – do they place a priority on safety? Do they ensure the geothermal heating and cooling system repair worksite is secure and safe for their personal and your family?
- Professionalism – do they promptly return customer calls? Are they polite and courteous? Do they answer questions?
- Time and Cost – how long do they estimate the geothermal heating and cooling system repair job will take them to complete? What is the air heat pump repair cost estimate? How does this compare to other air heat pump repair services companies?
CONCLUSION ABOUT GEOTHERMAL HEATING AND COOLING SYSTEM REPAIR
In conclusion, geothermal heat pumps and air-source heat pump systems are both excellent choices for heating and cooling your home. They may cost much more upfront, but you will receive substantial long-term savings in your energy costs over the life of the units. Preventative heat pump maintenance in the form of an annual checkup is best to ensure your geothermal heating and the cooling unit keeps working the way it should. If something does go wrong, experts from geothermal heating and cooling system repair services and heat pump repair services can identify the problem and get it repaired, so that you can once again enjoy the comfortable climate you crave in your home.