Your heat pump does double-duty. During the summer it absorbs indoor heat and pumps it outside to keep your home cool. During the winter it gathers heat from outside and pumps it back into the home. With all this work, problems can arise. Here is a brief guide that will help you troubleshoot the problems your heat pump may be facing.
During normal cycling, your heat pump will develop a thin layer of frost on the coils. You might notice frost on the outside coils during the winter, and on the inside coils during the summer. The frost should melt throughout the day.
If you notice an unusual amount of frost – such as the coils are completely covered with frost – you may need to clean the condenser. You can also reduce coil frost by replacing the filter at least once every three months. Proper air flow helps prevent frost build-up.
Red Dye Ooze
You've noticed a red substance leaking from your heat pump. This substance is actually the refrigerant that should remain inside the pump. If you're seeing the refrigerant on the outside of the unit, there is a leak in the seal.
To prevent damage to the compressor, you shouldn't use your heat pump until you can have a technician from a company like Cape Fear Air Conditioning & Heating Co., Inc. repair the problem. Using your heat pump while it's leaking refrigerant could lead to system failure.
Foul odors are flowing through your home whenever the heat pump turns on. Foul odors are usually caused by a problem with the tube that leads to the drip pan. Open the housing to your heat pump and remove the drip pan. You should see liquid in the pan. If you don't, you may have a clog in the drainage tube.
Locate the top of the drainage tube and remove it from the pipe it's attached to. Pour 1 cup of water into a bowl and add a teaspoon of bleach. Use a small syringe to flush the drainage tube with the solution you've prepared. Now reattach the tube. If you still don't see condensation draining from the tube, you'll need to contact a repair technician.
Don't take chances with your heat pump, especially since you depend on it all year long. Small problems, like the ones discusses above, can lead to costly repairs if not taken care of quickly. To keep your heat pump working properly, you should have a service technician come out and inspect it at least twice a year.