There are several signs you might notice that let you know it's time for a heat pump tune up, repair or replacement. Let's take a look.
1. Strange smells - Strange smells are a sign of a problem. Different smells can indicate different problems. For example, a burning oil smell often indicates a worn out belt in your heat pump. A damp or musty odor can indicate that mold growth is happening inside the unit. You definitely don't want to breathe that in! If you notice unusual smells when your heat pump is running, it's time for a tune-up.
2. Strange sounds - When working correctly, your heat pump should have a consistent but very soft humming sound when it runs. If you're hearing rattling, groaning or banging noises, that is not normal. Strange sounds are often a warning sign that a serious breakdown is imminent. If you hear strange sounds when your heat pump is operating, it's time for a tune up.
3. It's old - If your heat pump is old, in the 10-15 years old range, you definitely need to keep up with regular tune-ups. Older systems are not as energy efficient as newer systems. A tune up gets your heat pump into the most optimal running conditions possible so it works as efficiently as possible. Heat pumps in that age range should also be considered for possible replacement. You'll definitely save on your utility bills with a new system and not have to worry about a breakdown.
4. Increasing electric bill - If you notice your electric bill going up and up, pay attention to how frequently or quickly your system is cycling on. Systems that need a tune up tend to cycle on and off more quickly, meaning the system runs more frequently and thus uses more energy than a tuned up heat pump. This increased use of energy shows up as rising costs on your electric bill.
5. Running but not heating/cooling - If your heat pump is running and you feel the air flow but it is not able to heat or cool your home to the temperature setting, it's time for a tune up. Not being able to keep up to temperature is a sure sign that something is either not working properly or has become gunked up.
Does your heat pump need a tune up? If it is showing any of these common warning signs, it's time for a tune up. Ideally, it's best to have a tune-up at least once per year before the winter chill comes. Manufacturers often recommend having a tune up or regular maintenance twice yearly, in the spring and the fall. Despite this recommendation, many people go several years without having any kind of regular maintenance or tune up on their heat pump or HVAC system. We get it! Life gets busy and time flies. However, if you haven't had a tune up in a few years (or ever), it's time to give Carolina Comfort Systems a call. We'll tune up your heat pump and look for any small problems before they become a major breakdown.