Many geothermal heating devices stay efficient all year long, and homeowners appreciate their geothermal heat pumps most during the winter. Some geothermal systems can go 25 years at peak efficiency. However, understanding some of your device’s common problems can help you if it breaks down. Generally, the signs that precede geothermal system failures include energy bill spikes, a drop in efficiency levels, and irregular noises. Here are three of the common problems you should know about with geothermal systems.
1. Improper Ground Loop Pressure
Geothermal heat systems harvest heat from the ground before concentrating and transferring it into your building. Geothermal systems reverse the process for cooling purposes. These processes require a ground loop which often poses one of the common problems with geothermal systems. The ground gets extremely warm during cold days and the water pressure in your ground loop has to be efficient for it to absorb the ground heat effectively and distribute it throughout your building.
The problem with your ground loop arises when the water pressure falls below the ideal range. The ground loop system can’t heat effectively if the pressure levels stay that way; for this reason, you’ll need a professional to take a closer look to ensure efficiency.
HVAC technicians know the manufacturer-specified range and can recharge the water pressure back to peak efficiency. They may add a small amount of water to keep your ground loop running again. However, some ground loops may end up leaking. Even though such issues are rare, ensure that the HVAC technician troubleshoots your ground loop before leaving.
2. Gasket Leaks
Geothermal heat pumps exclusively rely on surface water as the heat exchange fluid circulating through the entire system. As such, leaks are more likely to occur. The leaks are often slow-paced and may not cause any damage in the early days. Often, many homeowners tend to ignore the signs. However, the problem becomes critical when the pump registers a significant water drain from the system.
It’s rare for homeowners to see water gushing out from their heat pumps. Therefore, taking swift action to call in a technician is a better option than waiting for the leaky situation to worsen. Technicians may perform a visual analysis of your geothermal unit, assessing its above-ground components to identify any leaks or corroded hardware.
They might also replace the gasket and any other parts that may have corroded during the leak. Also, note that your system’s pressure might develop issues when the leaky situation is left unattended for a long time. Therefore, a technician will need to check the system pressure to ensure the leaky situation didn’t over drain your pump, throwing the pressure out of balance.
3. Dirty Air Filter
Air filters are essential to HVAC systems as they help you solve your home’s comfortability issues by filtering dust, pollens, and other small particles from your indoor air. Many health experts have warned against dirty air filters, which can expose you to several health risks, including headaches, fatigue, and other cold symptoms. Your dirty air filter can also cause your heat system to malfunction. When the heat system’s filter surface becomes full, the dirt and debris can prevent the free flow of air.
Your geothermal system may have to work twice as hard to produce normal results in this situation. The best way to solve this problem is to thoroughly clean your filter. Homeowners who opt to DIY-clean their filters must ensure that no dirt or debris gets to the airbox or intake. Replacing your air filter is a better option if the DIY cleaning doesn’t work. You can enlist experienced HVAC technicians to recommend the best air filters on the market.
All in all, these are some of the most common geothermal heat pump problems. Many of them can do with DIY solutions, but don’t hesitate to call a qualified HVAC technician to diagnose and keep your geothermal systems functioning efficiently.