There’s a lot of confusion about how heat pumps differ from air conditioning systems. The truth is that a heat pump in cooling mode is an air conditioner. The main difference is that a heat pump can also heat, due to its reversing valve. So, when it comes to heat pump repair versus air conditioning repair in Avon, there are only a couple of key differences between the two. For over 25 years, Westland Heating and Air Conditioning has helped customers with both heat pump and air conditioner repair, and we can help you, too.
Differences Between Heat Pumps and ACs
The best way to answer the question about repair differences is to first look at the comparative components of a heat pump and an air conditioning system. Both have a compressor, a condenser and an evaporator. Both use fans and refrigerant. The main difference, as mentioned above, is that a heat pump has a component called a reversing valve that allows the heat pump to both cool and heat by reversing the flow of refrigerant; a second difference is that a heat pump’s mode of operation is reverse refrigeration, whereas an air conditioner’s is a vapor compression cycle.
Heat Pump Reversing Valve
The reversing valve resides inside the heat pump. The valve is attached to a small solenoid that supplies low-voltage electricity to it that is necessary for making the switch between heating and cooling. Common problems that can occur with the valve are:
- The valve gets stuck
- The solenoid goes bad
- A refrigerant leak develops in the valve
Sometimes a stuck valve can be repaired, but sometimes it needs to be replaced. A solenoid can be repaired, rather than replacement, unless the solenoid is no longer available. Refrigerant leaks can be repaired, and should be repaired by a trained professional.
Year-Round Operation of Heat Pump
Air conditioners run only during the warm months of the year, whereas a heat pump will run year-round. As such, normal wear-and-tear for heat pumps is higher, so there is more likely to be a need for repairs on a heat pump versus an air conditioner. Additionally, it is important to keep up with bi-annual maintenance on heat pumps due to the year-round operation.
Use a Professional for Both
Whether you need heat pump or air conditioning repair in Avon, it’s important to always use a trained professional. Call Westland Heating and Air Conditioning today and schedule an appointment with one of our trained technicians.