Next Generation Air & Heat, Inc. Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Heat Pump’

Central ACs vs. Heat Pumps: What’s the Difference?

Monday, June 11th, 2018

question-markAre you replacing an old air conditioning system? Are you ready to invest in a new air conditioner for a brand new home under construction? Whatever the case may be, it’s definitely going to be in your best interest to explore your air conditioning options thoroughly. You really don’t want to wind up missing out on a great AC system for your personal needs and user preferences just because you didn’t realize that the option was there.

While the split central air conditioner certainly has a lot to recommend its use—it remains the most popular of all home cooling systems for a reason, after all—it is not the only option out there. You don’t need to stick with what you’ve always used just because it’s what you’ve always used. You should consider every option available to you, and that includes the heat pump. The heat pump and central AC actually share a lot in common—with one very big difference!

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Is a Heat Pump Right for Me?

Monday, December 25th, 2017

hot-and-cold-homesIt is certainly a possibility! Here in Florida, heat pumps are very popular home comfort systems. While there are a lot of great heaters and air conditioners on the market today, the heat pump’s unique method of operation makes it an ideal solution for year-round comfort in this part of the country. If you are thinking about replacing a heater or an air conditioner, or if you’re in the process of building a new home and are reviewing your HVAC options, be sure to keep the heat pump in mind.

Also keep in mind the fact that even the best HVAC systems on the market, heat pumps included, are only going to function at peak performance and efficiency levels if they are properly sized, designed, installed, and serviced by trained professionals. Our team is here to help you to determine if a heat pump is the right option for your home, and we’re also happy to handle every heat pump service that you’ll need down the road. Contact us today if you’re interested in using a heat pump in Orlando.

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How a Bad Compressor Can Cause Problems for Your Heat Pump

Monday, March 10th, 2014

The compressor is the “heart” of both air conditioners and heat pumps. This component resembles a piston engine in operation. It places the refrigerant in the system under high pressure by compressing it. This raises the temperature of the refrigerant and turns it into a high-pressure gas. The change in pressure moves the gas along to the condensing coil (which may be either the indoor or outdoor coil in a heat pump depending on whether it’s in heating or cooling mode) to start the heat exchange process.

When the compressor goes bad in a heat pump, it will threaten the whole operation of the system. Heat pumps with bad compressors will need professional repairs, usually to replace the compressor. Call Next Generation Air & Heat Inc., any time of the day or night, when you need repairs for your heat pump in Merritt Island, FL.

Troubles from a bad compressor

A motor runs the compressor, and should this motor fail, the compressor will not work at all: refrigerant won’t run through the coils and the heat pump will not provide heating or cooling. If you don’t hear your compressor coming on at all, a broken compressor motor is probably behind it. (Listen also for screeching or groaning noises, an early warning of a failing motor.)

If the compressor wears down, usually because poor maintenance has gotten it dirty, it can stop working because of bad compressor bearings or contacts. In the former case, the outdoor fan will still start, but the rest of the heat pump won’t work. In the latter case, the heat pump will probably not start at all, although you may hear a humming noise from the cabinet. The compressor can also become overloaded from a bad relay, which will also cause the heat pump to fail to turn on.

Another problem that a failing compressor can cause is leaking refrigerant. Loose or broken connections to the compressor are one of the main places where a heat pump can lose refrigerant, which leads to icing over of the coils and a drop in power. Sometimes a technician can repair this without having to replace the compressor, but the refrigerant will need to be recharged to its regular level.

Seek professional diagnosis

All of the above heat pump problems—failing to turn on, no heat or cooling, only the outdoor fan runs, leaking refrigerant—can stem from malfunctions other than a bad compressor. To find out what is causing the trouble, you’ll need a technician trained in heat pump repair. Don’t try to troubleshoot the problem on your own.

Next Generation Air & Heat Inc. has extensive experience with repairs for heat pumps, so for your heat pump in Merritt Island, FL, call us—any time of the day or night—for quality service.

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How to Prepare for a Heat Pump Installation

Monday, November 26th, 2012

When it comes time for you to get a heat pump installed in your Melbourne, FL home, it can be a stressful time. There are a lot of things to think about. A heat pump is an important part of your home and you want to make the right decision. Often it can be helpful to get the opinion of a professional heating contractor to help you make the decision and to prepare for the installation. We’ve outlined a few of the considerations you might want to take into account as you move forward with this process.

Heat Pump Efficiency Ratings

One of the most confusing parts of looking for a new heat pump is the efficiency ratings that are shown on the units. There are a lot of acronyms and it’s hard to keep them straight. Here are two common ratings that are used for heat pumps and what they mean.

  • Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) – This rating is used to measure the heating efficiency of heat pumps. This rating is obtained by measuring the heating output of a heat pump over an entire season and dividing it by the amount of energy consumed.
  • Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) and/or Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) – The SEER and the EER are used to measure cooling. The SEER measures cooling efficiency over an entire season while the EER measures it at a particular moment under specific conditions.

Sizing Your Heat Pump

The size of the heat pump that you end up getting installed is one of the most critical aspects of the process. If you get a heat pump that is too small for your Melbourne home, it won’t be able to keep up with the heating or cooling demands on your home. This is obviously an inefficient way to heat and cool your home. But if you get a heat pump that’s too big, it can also run inefficiently as it is constantly turning on and off to heat and cool your home. This is an area where the services of a professional Melbourne heating and air conditioning contractor can be indispensable. They can measure the volume of air that you’ll need to heat or cool and then guide to the right sized unit.

When it’s time for you to have a new heat pump installed at your home in Melbourne, don’t hesitate to call the experts at Next Generation. We have experience working with all types and brands of heat pumps. We take pride in our work and in our customer service. Give us a call today and talk with one of our highly trained heating technicians.


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Heat Pump Maintenance Tips: What Happens When You Neglect Maintenance

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

Just like any HVAC system, the heat pump in your home needs routine maintenance and yearly check-ups to operate as efficiently and safely as possible. You also don’t want your heat pump to wear down to the point of a major malfunction or breakdown, which can be costly to repair or may require a complete system replacement.

Here are some things that could go wrong and cost you a lot more in the end if you don’t keep up with the regular maintenance of your heat pump.

Damage to the Compressor

The compressor in a split-system heat pump works whether you are heating or cooling your home. In the winter, the compressor reverses the flow of the refrigerant to defrost the outdoor coils, and in the summer it supplies the refrigerant to cool the home, as well as cooling the outdoor coils. Proper airflow is vital to keeping the compressor running smoothly. Filters that are not changed regularly, dirty coils, and dirty fans can all restrict airflow, which will damage the compressor. Debris around the outside components should also be cleared to allow proper airflow.

Decreased Efficiency

When dirty or broken components restrict the airflow, this damages the compressor and decreases the heat pump’s efficiency levels.  Not only is it important to clean your heat pump regularly, but you should also have it checked by a certified heating technician once a year. This will also prevent safety hazards and other hidden issues with the heat pump.

Improper Refrigerant Levels

Most heat pumps are charged with refrigerant at the factory; however, if models that are charged when they are installed are not given the right amount of refrigerant this can also affect performance levels. Refrigerant leaks and other common problems can be prevented by scheduling an annual maintenance visit with one of our qualified technicians.

Don’t wait until the heat pump in your Barefoot Bay home stops working, call Next Generation Air and Heat today to schedule your yearly check-up.

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Heat Pump Tip: Outdoor Maintenance

Friday, February 10th, 2012

Sometimes, the trickiest part about owning a heat pump in Palm Shores is keeping the outdoor components maintained. Because they are outside and generally out of sight, it can be easy to forget or neglect them. But because they are outside and exposed to the elements, outdoor heat pump components need attention and maintenance to keep them running properly.

The two most important routine maintenance functions you can do as an owner of an outdoor heat pump are keeping it free of debris and keeping it level.

Every month or so, inspect and clean your outdoor heat pump to make sure it is free of leaves, dirt and other debris. These can easily be sucked in by the fan and reduce the efficiency of the whole system. Turn the power off to the unit and use a vacuum or broom to remove any accumulated debris.

Once or twice a year, use a carpenter’s level to make sure the whole thing is sitting level on the pad. Use the level to gauge both side to side and front to back. While you are doing this, check the insulation for erosion or gaps. If you see that it is not level or the insulation is wearing thin, have a contractor come out reset the unit on the concrete pad or patch up the insulation.

These are two small maintenance tasks that you don’t have to do very often, but they can make a big difference in the performance and life of your heat pump.

In addition, you should always have your whole heating, ventilation and cooling system inspected by a Palm Shores professional, like Next Generation Air and Heat, annually in order to keep everything maintained and in good repair.

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Heat Pump Repair Tip: Heat Pump Blowing Cold Air in Winter

Monday, February 6th, 2012

One of the most impressive things about a heat pump is that it can both cool and heat your Cocoa Beach home. But, if something goes wrong and your heat pump is suddenly trying to cool your home in the middle of the winter, you have a problem. Here are some possible causes of the issue and what you can do about them.

 Defective Reversing Valve

The reversing valve is responsible for changing the flow of refrigerant between seasons so your heat pump can both heat and cool your home. So, if it breaks, you can imagine what happens next – you won’t switch into heating mode and your heat pump will try to air condition your home.

Defective reversing valves are hard to diagnose because the symptoms are largely the same as those of a defective compressor or condenser valve. However, because of how they are installed and where they are located, you will need a professional to inspect this problem no matter what.

 Low on Refrigerant

Your heat pump should never run low on refrigerant because it shouldn’t leak, but if it does and the refrigerant gets low or if your device is simply very old, this may be a problem. Low refrigerant means that the device cannot transfer enough heat between the outdoor air and the inside air and the air that gets blown through your ducts by the air handler isn’t heated as much as is necessary to warm your house.

The problem is relatively easy to fix, though you should also have your repairman check for leaks and a possible cause of the refrigerant being low in the first place.

 Not Running at All

The final problem is one you should be able to notice quite easily. If the heat pump isn’t working at all but the air handler and blower are working fine, then the device will simply blow cold air from outside or possibly even just recycled cold air from inside. In either case, the heat pump isn’t running to heat the air and therefore, you’re getting whatever temperature it is outside.

This can be caused by a number of problems so it’s important to call Next Generation Air and Heat to inspect it immediately.

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Heat Pump Maintenance Guide: How to Maintain High Efficiency Filters

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

The filter on your heat pump is an integral part of your Melbourne Village home’s comfort system. Without that filter, the device will quickly be subjected to an influx of debris and contaminants that can get into the machinery and the air being filtered into your home. As a result, you need to make sure you properly maintain the filters to reduce stress on your heat pump.

Change Your Filters

High efficiency filters are designed to remove as much of the airborne contaminants in the air as possible. This is fantastic for keeping your indoor air clean. But if you don’t properly maintain the filter, air quality can worsen and your heat pump is put under unnecessary stress. Specifically, the extremely tight knit filter, designed to stop nearly anything from getting through, gets clogged.

Now your heat pump is forced to work much harder to draw the air it needs from outside and heat or cool your home. On top of that, the filter is filled with contaminants that can start to leak back into the air supply, actually making your indoor air quality worse than it would be otherwise. That’s why it is so important to clean your filters on a regular basis (for permanent filters) and replace them if they are one time use.

Recommended Filters

You have options as to which types of filters you use for your heat pump. Filters come in multiple options, from super high MERV rated filters that trap up to 99% of all contaminants as small as 0.3 microns.

Electrostatic filters are especially efficient because they extract contaminants of all types – from dust and mold to smoke and gas fumes. A good filtration system should effectively remove anything from the air without needing replacement too often.

Permanent filters tend to offer the best protection against airborne contaminants and generally need to be cleaned once a month. HEPA filters are often permanent and while each filter is different, these are often extremely effective at minimizing contaminants in the air without putting stress on your Melbourne Village home’s heat pump.

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Troubleshooting Your Problematic Orlando Heat Pump

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

If your Orlando heat pump isn’t working properly, there are a number of things that might be wrong. But, where do you start and how do you solve these problems quickly and inexpensively? Here are some tips for common heat pump problems.

Low Air Flow

Your heat pump is designed to provide steady air flow to the entire house. When it was originally installed, the technician sized it to do so. If it suddenly stops providing enough air flow to your entire house or if the air flow it provides isn’t as comfortable as you’re used to, something is probably wrong.

More specifically, there is likely an issue with the heat pump itself since the device will compensate for most external problems by running longer and harder. A quick inspection will often rule out serious problems, so you should have someone inspect your device as soon as you notice a problem.

Leaky Duct

If there is an external problem, such as leaky ductwork, it tends not to be as noticeable right away. Often, when ducts are leaking, air flow problems will occur only in certain rooms of your Orlando home. Even then, the heat pump might be able to maintain the right temperature in those rooms – you’ll just have a higher energy bill because of the energy loss in the ductwork.

The best way to determine what is happening and how best to tackle the problem is to have someone test your ductwork for leaks, a relatively quick process.

High Energy Bill

If your energy bill suddenly increases dramatically, it is usually due to energy loss somewhere in the transfer between the heat pump and the rooms of your home. Leaky ducts can be the culprit, but so too can the air handler or the heat pump itself. If you notice a sudden increase in your energy bill, look for other symptoms like uneven heating or cooling in certain parts of your home or noises coming from the ductwork or your air handler.

No matter what other symptoms accompany the increase, you probably need repairs. Your home may still be comfortable now, but the heat pump can only make up for the problem for so long and in the interim, it is being put under excessive stress that reduces its lifespan.

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What is a Matched HVAC System? A Question From Eau Gallie

Monday, September 19th, 2011

It has been about 200 years since the arrival of interchangeable parts during the Industrial Revolution. Today in Eau Gallie, we laud being able to take a malfunctioning part from a car, computer or vacuum cleaner, replace it with a newly minted part from any number of manufacturers, then keep right on plugging along.

Although this is a blessing in most arenas, when it comes to an HVAC system, it is not necessarily a good practice. Heating and cooling systems work best when they are matched – but what does that mean? And why does it matter?

Why Matched Parts Matter in HVAC Systems

When referring to HVAC systems, a matched system is one in which various components are designed to work together. For example, an air conditioner and furnace made by the same manufacturer can be matched, as can a furnace and a heat pump.

Typically, the matching is done in such a way that the “outdoor” components, such as air conditioners and heat pumps are designed to work best with their “indoor” partners, like air handlers and furnaces. There are also matched systems in which every component is matched to every other.

Efficiency Boosts

While this may seem to make maintenance and repairs a pain, the practice provides a big boost to the efficiency of the system. Because the components were designed and manufactured by the same team to work in harmony, the system performs optimally. Although you can often replace one component of a matched system with one from another manufacturer and have it work fine, the system can lose efficiency, often to a significant and noticeable extent.

For these reasons, it is best to make use of matched systems in your home whenever possible. This means choosing a new matched system to install, replacing broken parts with ones that match the rest of the system and even replacing older systems with newer ones to properly match, when necessary.

It may seem like a hassle at first, but it saves money in the long run by adding increased efficiency over unmatched systems.

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