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Heat Pump Replacement Time or Repair it Again?

A heat pump is an excellent upgrade from a traditional climate control system, but many homeowners are unsure of how these devices work and when they will need to be replaced. If you have purchased a home with a heat pump or had one of these systems recently installed, then you may be wondering when it will be heat pump replacement time, or should you repair the one you have and keep on going? Read ahead for a closer look at the technology behind these devices and what you can do to extend their service life.

Is My Heat Pump Working?
Here's a test to see if it's heat pump replacement time or if you might just need to have service performed...

The easiest way to determine if it’s heat pump replacement time, or time to repair one of the components of the heating system, try this test: Set the thermostat five degrees above room temperature. Within a few moments, the system should turn on and you should feel warm air. If you do not feel warm air, then there could be a problem with the heat pump itself, the thermostat, the electric backup heating elements, or the fans on the air handling unit. Most homeowners will need to contact an HVAC technician to determine which of these components is to no longer working.

Proper Heat Pump Maintenance

Having your heat pump serviced twice a year by an experienced technician is the single best way to keep these devices running efficiently to postpone heat pump replacement time. During these service calls, the technician will go through a lengthy checklist to ensure that every aspect of the system is working correctly. This includes changing the air filters, inspecting the electrical wires, flushing drain lines, testing the running temperature, and looking for any unusual signs of wear and tear.

Deciding Whether to Repair or Replace

Even with regular maintenance, most heat pumps will need to be replaced every 10 or 12 years. If your heat pump was installed around ten years ago and continues to break down, then you might want to consider now as being your heat pump replacement time. Not only will this put an end to constant repairs and an uncomfortable home, but it will also improve the efficiency of the system and reduce your energy bills.

If you are wondering whether now is the time to replace your heat pump, or just repair it again and keep on limping along with the unit you have, call us at 843-497-9867, or fill out our short form and someone will contact you as quickly as possible to discuss your options for your Myrtle Beach heat pump unit.

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Heating Advice: Understanding Different Heat Pump Controls

When you are considering a heat pump, you need to understand that there are different types of heat pump controls that can affect your heating and help you to save money on utility costs. Your controls can help you to manage your heating levels more effectively.

Here are some of the different types of heat pump controls that can affect your heating

Understanding Variable-Capacity Controls

Heat pumps with variable-capacity controls are the most economical choice. They do not run your heater at optimal levels at all times. The blower and compressor of the heat pump coordinate together and adjust according to the needs of your home.

Understanding Two-Speed Compressors

Zoning your heat allows you to use two-speed compressors that can control different temperatures in different rooms, giving you greater control of your home’s temperature. With two-speed compressors, heat can be controlled at one level in one area and another level in a different area, rather than running your heat pump at full capacity at all times for one, uniform temperature throughout the home.

How Variable-Speed Motors Help to Maintain a Comfortable Air Velocity

Variable-speed motors, also known as dual-speed motors, can be used on outdoor fans or blowers. They are responsible for maintaining a consistent air velocity. When the air velocity is consistent, it means less fluctuations, and a savings on your utility expenses.

Backup Burners Can Cut Costs

While considering all the options that can make it possible to heat your home more efficiently, be sure to explore backup burners. When a backup burner is installed, your heat will alternate between your heat pump and a backup furnace that uses natural gas. However, when the outdoor temperature dips below a specified point, the gas furnace will take over. Using both sources of heat is more economical.

To learn more, or talk to us about your heat pump, and the way your heat pump controls work, call Brown & Reaves Services today at 843-497-9867, or use our convenient form.

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Geothermal Heat Pump Installation

One of the greatest sources of heat is found in the earth. A Geothermal Heat Pump (GHPS), also known as a earth-coupled, water-source or ground-source heat pump, is designed to use the solar energy stored in the ground and, in turn, uses it to cool and heat a building. Used since the 1940s, geothermal heat pumps are considered to be very efficient residential heating systems. A homeowner can expect the return on the investment within 5 to 10 years. [Read more…]

Frozen Heat Pump Common in Cold Weather

The recent winter storms in the South caused a lot of roads, trees and powerlines to ice up. But another common item that was icing up during the storms were heat pumps.

A frozen heat pump is not uncommon in the winter months, especially around frozen precipitation.A frozen heat pump is very common in cold, wet weather. It is normal for the entire coil to be covered in a white frost, even light ice, during certain weather conditions. But it is not normal for the entire unit to be encased in ice; including the top of the unit and the insides of the coil for an extended period of time. This indicates a problem and should be addressed quickly to save energy and avoid serious damage to the equipment.

All heating systems have a defrost cycle that is normally activated by a timer. The timer may be set to defrost every 30, 60 or 90 minutes. Most of the newer equipment today uses solid-state control modules with temperature sensors. Even more sophisticated is the Demand Defrost system which makes calculations based on the outside air, the refrigerant temperature in the coil, and run time. This is the most efficient way to defrost.

Some units may also be equipped with a pressure switch that detects frost buildup. When the defrost cycle is activated the freon flow will reverse itself and the warm gas will defrost the lines.

Your Frozen Heat Pump May Not Be Defrosting

If a heat pump is severely iced-up during winter use, it’s possible that it’s not defrosting, but there are many other causes.

Hopefully we won’t have any more icing conditions this winter like we’ve had twice already this season, but if we do and you start to experience a frozen heat pump, here is what you can do to help stay warm.

Freezing rains can cause problems. If ice is interfering with the fan motion, shut the unit down to prevent damage to the fan blades and other parts. Owners can allow the ice to melt on its own, or they can pour water over the unit. Do not try to break the ice away with a hammer or ice pick. Ensure the copper coolant lines are not ice covered. Pouring water over the lines will remove the buildup. Make sure the guttering system is directing water away from the heat pump and not pouring over the gutters onto the unit.

Important: Whatever you do, never pick the ice off with a sharp object. The refrigerant coils and fins can be damaged very easily on a frozen heat pump.

If the unit ices-up again, it is time to schedule a service call. Brown and Reaves Services, Inc. 843-497-9867. Don’t forget to Like us on Facebook and grab your 20% off coupon on our next service call.

Fall Is Heat Pump Tune Up Time

There is no better time than Fall for a heat pump tune up.

Call Brown and Reaves Services Inc for your next heat pump tune upJust as your vehicle needs a tune up for optimal performance, a regular heat pump tune up can improve the performance of your heating and cooling system. And now is the best time to schedule maintenance before the temperatures start to drop.

Why Get A Heat Pump Tune Up?

A heat pump tune up is a must if you want your heating system to run optimally and last for years. You will have to conduct some routine maintenance on your heating system. Faulty settings, dirty filters and clogged duct work can all wreck havoc on the efficiency and operation of a heating system. Regardless of whether you have a heat pump or some other furnace type in place, you should replace the filters on a monthly basis and have a certified quality inspector like Brown and Reaves Services, Inc., come out at least once a year to give you a heat pump tune up. Failure to maintain your heating system could result in high repair costs and even dangerous situations for your family.

Not only can you save 20% with Brown and Reaves Services by taking advantage of our Discount Coupon offer, but Santee Cooper offers a rebate of up to $50 when you have a Santee Cooper Residential Trade Ally give you a heat pump tune up and install qualifying energy efficient measures. Brown and Reaves Services is proud to be a Santee Cooper Residential Trady Ally, giving you one more reason to call on us for all your heating and cooling needs.

Here’s where you can read about Santee Cooper’s Smart Energy Existing Homes Program Official Terms and Conditions.

The deadline to apply for Santee Cooper’s energy rebate is October 31st, so call us right away to schedule your heat pump tune up. Call us at 843-497-9867, or Email us now.

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Heat Pump Compressor Belongs Outside

We had a customer ask if their heat pump compressor unit could be installed in their garage or attic as a way to improve its operating efficiency? The thinking is that since the temperature may not be as hot in summer or as cold in winter, the system will operate more efficiently.

The answer to this question is no. In fact, make that an emphatic no!  Here’s why:

Why Heat Pump Compressors Should Be Outside

Why anyone would install a heat pump compressor in an attic is a mystery.An air-source heat pump (ASHPs) works by extracting heat from ambient air and therefore needs an ample supply to work effectively. Installing an ASHP in your garage or attic would suck out all of the warmth from the air captured there, effectively turning that space into a freezer, colder and colder until it would be impossible for the heat pump to extract heat effectively. Installing an ASHP inside a garage or attic can void your manufacturer’s warranty and may cause permanent damage to the unit.

What do you think happens to the efficiency and capacity of a heat pump when it has to dump its heat into hotter air? It drops. What happens when the air gets too hot? The condenser may not be able to do its job – condensing the refrigerant so that it all becomes a liquid again. The refrigerant goes to the evaporator coil hotter and wetter and at higher pressure. That’s a recipe for failure.

While you want to avoid installing the ASHP in an enclosed space, installing one to replace an existing inefficient heating system, such as a furnace or boiler, can be a very good investment. Many people are finding it harder to afford to heat their homes, especially with electricity, oil, or propane.

Keep in mind that installing any heat pump is not a typical do-it-yourself project. Some manufacturers do not honor any warranty on equipment installed by homeowners or purchased on the Internet—so even though the online price may look great, you may end up paying a lot more to repair or replace equipment if it’s not properly sized and installed professionally.

If you’re thinking about replacing an outdated heating system or air conditioner with an energy efficient heat pump, call us for a free estimate. Brown and Reaves Services specializes in new heat pump installations. Call us at 843-497-9867. Or complete our online form to contact us now. Don’t forget to grab our 20% off discount coupon on your next service call.

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*Photo courtesy of Energy Vanguard

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