Heat pump Refrigeration and Appliance Repair
How does your Los Angeles commercial heat pump work?
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 the 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.
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 of 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 a commercial heat pump 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 premature component breakdown and potentially leave your building without warm air in the winter or cool air in the summer. 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.
At West Coast Chief Repair, 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 checking the unit’s electrical connections, looking for indications of damaged wires, checking the function of the blower and blower motor, clearing all accumulated debris from outdoor units or cabinets, checking the function of the pump’s energy-storing capacitors and testing 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
Unfortunately, every major problem affecting a heat pump has multiple possible underlying causes. For example, a heat pump may fail to start for reasons that include blown fuses, loose electrical connections, a malfunctioning thermostat, and malfunctions in other components such as the compressor or transformer. An inoperative pump that makes a humming sound may have any one of several electrical issues, as well as other problems that include damage in a component called a start capacitor, faulty bearings on the compressor and a damaged compressor motor.
A heat pump that doesn’t produce enough heat during cold weather may have underlying issues that include a damaged reversing valve (the component responsible for switching the direction of the heat passing through the unit), refrigerant line problems and a malfunctioning indoor fan. A heat pump that fails to cool in the warmer parts of the year may also have a damaged reversing valve, a malfunctioning indoor fan or refrigerant line problems, as well as other problems such as contaminated refrigerant or a malfunctioning component called a thermostatic expansion valve. Potential causes of refrigerant flooding during warm-weather use include excessive heat pump pressure, excessive refrigerant levels and malfunctions in any one of several system components.
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.