In basic terms, a heat pump is a machine that pushes heat in a direction it wouldn’t naturally go. In an isolated system, heat would try to pass from any warm area to a cooler part. Using the refrigeration process, a heat pump will take heat from a cold area (usually outside) and supply it to a warmer area (inside). This process uses the heat exchange properties of evaporation and condensation under pressure. It all sounds a bit complicated but the principle is seen often in normal life. Wet your finger and hold it up to the wind, the direction the wind is coming from can be felt due to the cooling effect of evaporation.
Modern heat pumps are often reversible so the components can swap roles and the whole system can behave as an air conditioner. HVAC or Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning systems have a heat pump at their core.
Efficient HVAC Heat Pumps
Heat pumps are versatile, energy-efficient devices that can help businesses and commercial property owners significantly reduce the amount they spend to manage the internal climate of their buildings. However, because they’re so versatile, these devices often remain running throughout much of the year, and commonly face a lot of accumulated wear and tear.
In order to keep your heat pump in reliable working condition, you need an HVAC specialist who knows how to perform all required maintenance, and also knows how to quickly troubleshoot and repair any problems that arise. We are Los Angeles’ preferred option for commercial heat pump servicing and repair. With decades of experience and convenient locations throughout the L.A. area, we make it easy for you to keep your business and customers comfortable in all seasons.
Reversible Heat Pumps
A heat pump is essentially a heat transfer unit. In hotter parts of the year, it works like an air conditioner, pulling warm indoor air over a cooling coil filled with refrigerant and returning cooled air through a system of ducts. In colder parts of the year, the heat transfer process reverses and a heat pump pulls warmth from the surrounding environment, then uses a blower system to transfer that warmth to the interior of a building.
There are three potential sources for the warmth pulled in by a heat pump: the outdoor air, a nearby body of water and the earth itself, which naturally holds heat beneath its surface. Residential heat pumps tend to pull warmth from the outdoor air. However, a large percentage of commercial pumps are water-source units or ground-source units that use the earth’s stored heat. Greater efficiency is gained by using these methods but often at a higher cost.
Like residential heat pumps, commercial heat pumps come in multiple configurations. In one common configuration, known as a split system, some of the pump’s main components are located inside an outdoor cabinet installed at ground level or on a building rooftop, while others are located inside an indoor cabinet. In another common setup, known as a packaged system, all the heat pump components sit inside in a single outdoor cabinet installed at ground level or on a rooftop.
Commercial Heat Pump Maintenance
Lack of regular maintenance can seriously impair the performance of commercial heat pumps and lead to as much as a 25 percent reduction in operating efficiency. In addition, lack of maintenance or improperly performed maintenance can lead to a premature component breakdown. Only an HVAC service provider with a comprehensive understanding of the layout and operation of commercial units knows how to formulate an appropriate maintenance plan and reliably carry out that plan.
We have the expertise needed to assess the health of your commercial heat pump and develop a maintenance routine designed to keep it running smoothly throughout the year. We use the same extensive experience to carry out every detail of that routine on a reliable schedule. Typical steps in periodic heat pump maintenance include checks and tests on:
- Electrical connections
- Indications of damaged wires
- Blower and blower motor
- Clearing all accumulated debris from outdoor units or cabinets
- The function of the pump’s energy-storing capacitors
- The accuracy of the pump’s thermostat
Common Commercial Heat Pump Problems
Even in the best circumstances, the heavy loads placed on commercial heat pumps can lead to some sort of system malfunction. One of the biggest potential issues is a pump that simply fails to power up when switched on. In some cases, units that don’t start also make a telltale humming noise. Specific problems associated with the operation of a heat pump in cold weather include a unit that produces an inadequate amount of heat, a unit that produces too much heat, and a unit that produces no heat at all. Specific problems associated with the operation of a heat pump in warm or hot weather include insufficient cooling, a complete lack of cooling, and flooding of the unit’s refrigerant liquid through the evaporator coil.
Commercial Heat Pump Troubleshooting and Repair
In common with many complex pieces of apparatus, problems affecting heat pumps have multiple possible underlying causes. For example, a heat pump may completely fail to start for reasons that include:
An inoperative pump that makes a humming sound may have any one of several electrical issues, as well as other problems that include:
- Damaged start capacitor
- Worn compressor bearings
- Faulty compressor motor
A heat pump that doesn’t produce enough heat during cold weather may have underlying issues that include:
- Damaged reversing valve (the component responsible for switching the direction of the heat passing through the unit)
- Refrigerant line problem
- Malfunctioning indoor fan
Failure to cool in the warmer parts of the year may also have:
- A damaged reversing valve
- Malfunctioning indoor fan
- Refrigerant line problems
- Contaminated refrigerant
- Malfunctioning thermostatic expansion valve
Take Full Advantage of the Expertise at West Coast Chief Repair
Training and practical experience are absolutely crucial for the accurate troubleshooting and resolution of commercial heat pump problems. An HVAC provider with insufficient expertise can easily overlook critical issues or waste time making repairs that don’t actually address the root cause of your unit’s symptoms. Over nearly 25 years of operation, the professionals at West Coast Chief Repair have developed the broad, deep skill set required to quickly and accurately assess the problems affecting your heat pump. After making our diagnosis, we focus on the key issues and use new parts to make a targeted repair that gets your heat pump back online while avoiding any unnecessary expenditures of cash or time. This allows you to minimize any disruptions to the workplace environment or the customer experience.