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Two Winter Heat Pump Problems—That Aren’t Really Problems

Heat pumps have improved so much over the past decade that they are now practical in colder areas. Our winters are mighty chilly, but if you have the right heat pump installation from our experts, you can expect the system to make it through the season without trouble.

If this is your first winter using a heat pump, you might run into some behavior from it that will seem alarming. Actually, these odd-seeming occurrences are normal. If you know what to look for, you won’t need to panic and call for repairs.

The outdoor unit won’t stop running!

This is something people worry about because a heat pump resembles an air conditioner in most ways, and homeowners aren’t used to the outdoor unit of an AC running during winter. But this is how a heat pump warms a house. The outdoor unit is drawing thermal energy out of the air (yes, there’s still heat in the air, no matter how cold it is outside) to bring indoors. It’s working just as it should, and you’ll soon get used to it.

There’s smoke coming off the outdoor unit!

This is also standard—and it’s not smoke but water vapor. What’s going on is the defrost cycle is turning on. There’s a danger of the outdoor coil of the heat pump freezing during winter, so at intervals the heat pump activates a defrost cycle to expel heat from the coil and melt off the ice. It will then go back to working as normal. ­

Your heat pump may run into actual problems during the winter, however. It could start blowing out cool air instead of warm air, or it might simply stop working altogether. Aside from checking on the thermostat to see that it’s set corretly and changing the air filter, there aren’t any other repairs that you can handle on your own. You’ll need the assistance of our trained team. Call us—we offer 24-hour emergency heating repair service.

Red Rock Mechanical LLC­­­—Serving Northwest Vermont and Plattsburgh NY area for over 23 years.

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