Air conditioners and heat pumps are often placed together in the same category. The reason for this is that an air conditioner is a type of heat pump, and a heat pump can do the same job as an air conditioner. Essentially, a heat pump is an air conditioner that can reverse the direction it moves heat and so work at both cooling and heating a home. The two systems work through an identical process of heat exchange using the cycling of refrigerant.
There are some differences mechanically between the two—heat pumps have more components to allow them to operate in different modes—but they are much more similar than they are dissimilar. Repairs for heat pumps and air conditioners are also similar.
Which one is tougher to repair? It depends on the kind of repair, although generally the repair types are the same. However, both are difficult if not impossible to repair without the proper training and tools. Unless you are a licensed HVAC specialist, you should never attempt to open up the cabinets of an AC or heat pump and try to manage repairs on your own. Always contact professionals: you can reach Cool Air Mechanical for heat pump and air conditioning repair in Kennesaw, GA any time of the day or night.
What Are the Differences Between Heat Pump and AC Repairs?
The major way that the two systems are different from each other is the presence of a component called the reversing valve. In a heat pump, the reversing valve sits on the refrigerant line where it exits from the compressor. Depending on whether the valve is “excited” (electrically charged) or not, it will direct the refrigerant either toward the indoor coil or the outdoor coil, thus determining whether the heat pump is in heating or cooling mode. Because an air conditioner is always in cooling mode, it does not have a reversing valve. If the valve in a heat pump malfunctions, it will need replacement.
Heat pumps also have a dual set of condensate pans that drain excess moisture, one each for the inside and the outside cabinets. Air conditioners only have one condensate drain, located on the indoors. This makes heat pumps a bit more complicated to maintain and to locate repair issues, but not significantly so.
Any skilled technician who can repair a heat pump can provide repairs for an air conditioner, so make sure that you turn to the professionals whatever system you have and whatever repairs you need. Contact Cool Air Mechanical when you need heat pump or air conditioning service in Kennesaw, GA.