8 Signs Your Geothermal HVAC is Calling for Repairs
Compared to conventional HVAC systems, geothermal units come with numerous benefits. They are generally low maintenance, are more efficient in operation, and have significant energy savings on heating and cooling.
While geothermal units require less maintenance than conventional units, you will still experience a few problems. To continue enjoying a comfortable atmosphere at home, look out for common signs of your unit not operating as it should.
Here are signs your geothermal HVAC unit requires the attention of a service technician.
1. Rattling Noises
After the time of use, heat pump parts start to wear out. When you power your geothermal unit on and hear some rattling or grinding noise, something could be wrong. Often the system produces sound when the compressor starts working; the sound is similar to that of a refrigerator.
Anything louder could be a sign of damage. Often, this will be an issue with the fan motor. However, it may be challenging to diagnose the issue; calling a professional is essential. Mechanical issues affect the system's efficiency, resulting in bigger problems and costly repairs.
2. Wet Patches
The geothermal HVAC system set-up features a powered heat pump and loops of underground pipes that transfer heat in the building to the ground and from the ground to the building.
A common sign of geothermal unit issues is wet spots or patches in your lawn where the loops of pipes are buried. While the tubes are unlikely to leak, they sometimes do, especially if the system is old.
A wet patch signifies that one or two of the coils are leaking. Often the leak will be accompanied by the loss of heating and cooling power of your unit. If you suspect a leak, reach out to certified HVAC professionals to have a look. They usually inject a die into the system to help them identify the leak's location and fix the issue.
3. High Energy Bills
Geothermal HVAC systems are energy efficient, and a sudden increase in your energy bill is a sign of trouble. Often you may experience changes in electrical bills between months, and it is easy to miss this sign of a problem in the HVAC system.
While there may be several causes of increased energy bills in your home, it is mainly attributed to your HVAC unit.
Note that a system that is not functioning optimally works harder, consuming more energy. If you get a sharp increase in your bill, consider having your system inspected and repaired. This will save you money on energy bills and replacement in case of further damage.
4. Loss of Cooling and Heating Power
The loss of heating and cooling power is an obvious sign of problems in your HVAC system. When the unit is not getting enough power, it may not get heat or cool your home adequately. It takes longer for the system to reach the temperature set in the thermostat or, in other cases, does not reach it.
When this is the case, there is usually a problem with the interior cabinet or the loop, or the filter is dirty. When the coils are broken, you will experience a loss of power, a rattling sound, or notice ice forming on the cabinet's sides. While you can check the filter yourself and replace it if you need me, other issues require a skilled professional.
When your geothermal unit's coils corrode, you should be concerned. This is common with geothermal HVAC nearing the end of their life. When there is heavy corrosion on your unit's coils, the system's operation is impacted negatively.
It impeded the exchange of heat from the ground making your system ineffective. Unfortunately, it is not easy to remove the corrosion. Corrosion of the coils is a sign your HVAC system needs to be replaced.
6. Burning Smell
You should never ignore a burning smell in your home, regardless of where it comes from. One of the sources is a failing geothermal HVAC system.
Your unit comprises multiple electrical components. Faulty short circuits and worn-out connections can cause the coating or wires to melt, producing a burning smell. Note that electrical issues in your system are risky and could cause a fire.
The presence of dust in the heater coil is a common cause of the smell, especially when the heat pump goes on. When there is a burning smell when your unit's heat pump is on, have your system checked as soon as possible.
7. Frost on The Coils
If ice is accumulating on the coils of your geothermal unit, you need to have it inspected. Sometimes ice will form on the coils when the refrigerant leaks. The leak prevents the coils from absorbing the heat sufficiently.
Ice on the coils could also indicate that your heat pump has a problem. It could also be an issue with the loops, especially during the warmer months when it is on cool mode. Sometimes, the problem results in a burning chemical smell which should be addressed.
If ice forms on the coils, it is usually best to turn the system off until it is inspected or repaired. While cleaning the coils or repairing the damage-causing frost may work, component replacement is necessary in other cases.
8. High Humidity
High humidity in your home can cause a wide range of problems. It encourages the growth of mildew and mold and causes damage to your brickwork, floors, and even furniture.
Your geothermal HVAC unit works to keep humidity in your home at comfortable levels. However, when your system malfunctions, your home will have high humidity as the HVAC will fail to dehumidify your space.
High humidity could be a sign of issues with the staging of your HVAC unit, improper airflow, refrigerant leak, and improper sizing.
Consult a Certified Professional for Geothermal HVAC System Issues
Regular inspection and maintenance by an experienced technician is the best way to keep your geothermal HVAC system working optimally.
Comfortec Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing technicians are happy to inspect your system and troubleshoot issues to ensure it runs efficiently. Contact Comfortec for your geothermal HVAC needs and regular maintenance to ensure it is in good shape and maintain the quality of your indoor atmosphere.
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