Home Improvement

How To Fix Heat Pump Compressor Problems

How To Fix Heat Pump Compressor Problems

Heat pumps tend to be a cost-effective and viable alternative to traditional cooling and heating systems. They are designed to move the heat around your house. However, like many other electrical appliances heat pumps develop problems as well for which you may need to call in a heat pump repair expert. One such component is the compressor, which is a crucial part of heating and cooling systems. Therefore, if your compressor is showing signs of trouble, you might want to pay heed to that.

Frequent cycling

If your compressor has developed electrical problems, it will cause the heat pump to turn on and off very quickly. It will do so regularly multiple times during the day. Since air conditioners and heat pumps require a huge amount of power when they turn on and off, the compressor needs to be working perfectly. Furthermore, it is suggested that you run them for at least 15 minutes every time to save energy.

Cooling Capacity Or Lost Heating

A heat pump compressor utilizes a specific pressure system to perform its job. If there is not enough pressure due to some leakage or similar problems, it will interfere with the cooling and heating process. As a result, the overall efficiency of the system will reduce.

It Will Fail To Start

If the compressor motor happens to be faulty, it will fail to start. Therefore, in that case, the heat pump itself will fail to function. Your fan might still run but the air coming out of the vents will not be of the appropriate temperature.

Types Of Heat Pump Compressors


Reciprocating heat pump compressors also known as positive displacement compressors work by suctioning, discharging, and finally extruding the refrigerant or water vapor. Furthermore, they come in several features that relate to the number of cylinders as well as the valves. Moreover, they tend to be one of the most effective and fastest while working.


Rotary compressors on the other hand are smaller of the bunch and utilize a rotating piston in order to compress the refrigerant. In addition to that, it also helps reduce the noise as compared to other compressors and minimizes the compression process as well.


As compared to the other compressors, scroll compressors use a center coil called scroll, which rotates around another coil in order to produce compression necessary for the refrigerant to flow in the heat pump. Additionally, these are newer compressors and are thought to be more durable, less vibrating, and more resistant. Lastly, they are easier to fix and smaller than others as well.


Centrifugal compressors use centrifugal force to compress the refrigerant as the name states itself. It simply catches the refrigerant gas and spins it so fast that it is compressed much more efficiently and without much vibration. However, only large and extra-large heat pumps only use such compressors.

Installation & Replacement Tips

When it comes to replacing the compressor, you need to make sure if it actually needs replacement. In some cases, other problems might be creating obstacles for the compressor to perform properly. If that is the case, you will need to contact a specialist to inspect your heat pump. While purchasing a compressor make sure that the new one is at least 50% efficient as compared to the original installed.

Furthermore, if the compressor is more than 5 years old, you will most likely need to change the compressor due to efficiency standards. Although compressors are tough components and made to last longer than many other parts, with time they will start developing problems as well. Therefore, if a problem was to arise, make sure that you get the problem properly diagnosed before getting a new compressor installed.

When it comes to repairing and servicing heat pump compressors, things could become a bit complicated and tricky. However, if you are aware of how to diagnose and fix common compressor problems, you can prevent your heat pump from being severely damaged.

Furthermore, when choosing HVAC companies McLean make sure they have the certification and skills you are looking for. Although most heating services can repair all kinds of heating appliances, you should check with them if they can repair heat pumps.

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