7 Common Problems With Geothermal Systems

Common geothermal hvac problems

Geothermal heat pumps are long-lasting, environmentally friendly, affordable, and reliable sources of energy for your home. Having a potential lifespan of up to 25 years, most homeowners with a geothermal HVAC system find that their geothermal unit stays efficient all year long.

That’s not to say that geothermal systems are invincible to problems. The good news is that there are usually some very telling signs when there is an issue with your geothermal heat pump. Our heating and cooling contractors at Bowman Mechanical Services want to help you stay warm this winter, so we are sharing everything you need to know in case a problem arises with your geothermal unit.

Signs That There Is A Problem With Your Geothermal System

While most geothermal HVAC systems operate efficiently all year long, there are some instances where you may encounter geothermal heat pump problems. While we always recommend taking advantage of our HVAC preventative maintenance services annually, sometimes things just happen.

Here are some of the signs that you could have a problem with your geothermal system:

  • Weird noises or smells coming from the system.
  • Not generating enough heat in the winter.
  • Not cooling your home in the summer.
  • Not providing enough airflow.
  • Rooms in your home are not heating or cooling evenly.
  • Signs of water leaks in above-ground components.
  • Higher than usual energy bills.

Common Problems With Geothermal Systems

A geothermal heat pump system works to heat your home in the winter and keep it cool in the summer. This is done by extracting heat from the earth’s surface into your home during colder months, and in the warmer months, the system’s heat transfer is reversed as it removes heat from your house, transferring it back into the earth.

When this system used to transfer heat has an issue, it can keep the entire geothermal heating system from properly operating. Whether it’s a minor issue like a dirty air filter or blocked vents or something that requires more advanced HVAC repair services like corroded hardware or a water leak, our contractors at Bowman Mechanical can help.

Let’s explore some of the common geothermal heat pump problems you may be facing if your heating and cooling system is not working correctly.

Mineral Deposits Impeding Operation

Since geothermal heat pumps rely on groundwater from the earth’s surface to transfer heat, and since groundwater has naturally occurring mineral deposits, sometimes mineral buildup occurs on the interior of the heat pump’s ground loop. If the mineral buildup is substantial, the flow of water gets restricted and blocked, resulting in a system failure until the system is repaired.

Bad Blower Fan Motor

The blower fan on your geothermal HVAC system is responsible for circulating the flow of air. If the fan motor is broken or impaired, there will be insufficient conditioned air in your home. The most common cause of a bad blower fan is dirt accumulation, but sometimes fan motors can fail due to age, electrical failings, or other internal issues. It’s best to have a professional HVAC technician inspect, repair, or replace your bad motor fan- or any element of your system particularly when electrical wiring components are involved.

Bad Geothermal Heat Pump

Geothermal systems use pumps to move water through ground loops, so if the pump stops working the transfer of heat and water cannot be performed. These pumps can either be repaired or replaced by your HVAC technician, depending on the extent of the issue.

Water Contamination

Geothermal HVAC systems use a closed loop of pipes to contain the refrigerant within their system. If there is an open pipe or slow leak, the refrigerant can contaminate local water and plant life. Also, open pipes can draw water in, creating the possibility for pond water or other water from nearby sources to enter your system with dirt and debris, ultimately contaminating your system and your drinking water.

Improper Ground Loop Pressure

The water levels within your ground loop must be within the manufacturer’s specified range in order to operate. When there is a lack of water pressure, the result twill is insufficient heating or cooling of your home. The ground loop can expand over time, creating the need for more water in the loop to keep the water pressure balanced. Although this is a rare occurrence and geothermal systems are usually very reliable, system pressure issues can occur. Thankfully, this is a quick fix, as a geothermal system repair technician can add water to the loop to keep things balanced.

Dirty Air Filters

Probably the most simple and easy fix and one of the more common geothermal heat pump problems, a dirty air filter will restrict airflow in your HVAC system. When air does not have room to move through the system because air filters are filled with accumulated dust and debris, your geothermal system will not function as it should.

Ductwork Issues Can Obstruct Water Flow

Not only will ductwork issues make your geothermal system fail to keep you warm on cold days, but these types of problems can also be damaging to your health. From poorly designed ductwork, dirty air filters, or gaps in your ducts, when air cannot clearly move through the system, it causes more and more build-up. This buildup is often made of dust, pet dander, pest droppings, pollen, or other substances that can cause headaches, sinus issues, allergies, and more.

Contact North Carolina’s Geothermal Experts For All Your System Repair Needs

Geothermal heating and cooling systems are a great choice for homeowners who want to be environmentally conscious and reduce pollution, spend less on their monthly energy bills, and head and cool their homes evenly all year round. Though rarer than with other system types, these advantages of geothermal systems do not exempt your system from potential issues that need repairs.

If you’ve noticed any of the warning signs that there is a problem with your geothermal heat pump or if you want to schedule inspection and maintenance services to avoid the need for future repairs, call Bowman Mechanical Services today at  919-772-2759 or fill out the form below to get started.

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