Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating Blog:
Archive for the ‘Heat Pumps’ Category

Why Won’t My Heat Pump Switch to Heating Mode?

Monday, December 19th, 2016

We may not experience the below-freezing temperatures that other parts of the country do, but that doesn’t mean that our winters aren’t cold enough to necessitate a properly functioning heating system.

So, if you utilize a heat pump and have found that it won’t switch from cooling to heating mode, you may understandably be frustrating. Fortunately, you can rely on our team to quickly resolve the issue once you make an appointment with us. However, in the meantime, we’ve shared some possible issues that may be causing your heat pump to stay in cooling mode.

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Should I Schedule Heat Pump Maintenance Bi-Annually?

Monday, November 28th, 2016

Preventive maintenance is one of the most important services you can schedule in order to ensure that your HVAC systems are in good shape. However, not all systems are designed the same, and as such not all have the same maintenance requirements. For example, if you used a heat pump to keep cool this past summer, and had maintenance done beforehand, you may think you’re set until next year.

Unfortunately, this can be a costly mistake to make. If you have a heat pump installed in your home, then it needs to be inspected two times a year—once before the cooling season, and once before the heating season. Keep reading to learn more about why.

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Replace Your Furnace and AC with This 2-in-1 System!

Monday, November 21st, 2016

One HVAC system in particular has been rising in popularity in recent years, as an efficient system to provide comfort for homes. These systems are particularly suited to climates such as ours—hot summers but mild winters. That is, the heat pump system.

Heat pumps work similar to traditional air conditioning systems in that they move heat from one place to another. An air conditioner moves heat from indoors and exhausts it outdoors, but a heat pump has a component called a reversing valve that can switch this direction of heat exchange. So with a single adjustment to your thermostat, you can make a heat pump work as a heating system as well as an air conditioner.

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Should I Replace My Traditional AC with a Heat Pump?

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

There are a lot of options available to homeowners when it comes to choosing a new air conditioning system for the home. Each type of system has its own benefits, so it’s important to research and understand the basics of each system and how each works. Many customers ask us if they should replace a traditional AC with a heat pump. They answer is: it depends. It depends on what your needs are, what you are looking for and if a heat pump installation in San Antonio is what will fit best with your home. It is always advisable to work with professionals when replacing any air conditioner.

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Common Heat Pump Repair Issues

Friday, June 20th, 2014

We think heat pumps are a great option for home comfort in San Antonio. The combination of powerful air conditioning and efficient heating make them ideal to handle our heavy summers and mild winters.

But just like any complex machine, a heat pump can encounter operating problems that require trained specialists to repair. Please do not attempt to open up either the indoor or the outdoor cabinet of your heat pump and fiddle with the components inside when the system starts to show signs of a malfunction. You may potentially make the repair issue worse.

Start off right and call in experienced technicians: Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating is ready 24-hours a day to restore your heat pump’s operation.

Here are 3 common repair issues we often see in heat pumps

  • Broken reversing valve – The reversing valve is the essential component that separates a heat pump from an air conditioner. The valve changes the direction that refrigerant flows through the system, and this switches the heat pump from cooling to heating mode. A reversing valve can break down or lose its connection to the electrical system that sends the charge that changes it from “excited” and “relaxed” state, and this will result in a heat pump stuck in one mode or the other. In most cases, technicians will replace the failed reversing valve.
  • Loss of the refrigerant – Refrigerant, sometimes known as Freon, is the chemical necessary for the heat pump to carry out heat exchange. Each heat pump has a set “charge” (level) for its refrigerant, and the level will only drop if leaks occur in the system. Leaking refrigerant will lower the heat pump’s ability to heat or cool (both will be affected) and trigger ice developing over the indoor and outdoor coils. Technicians will recharge the refrigerant and take care of defrosting the coils.
  • Hard-starting – The term “hard starting” refers to when the heat pump’s compressor struggles to turn on often stuttering, and then frequently shutting off early. This is usually an issue with the electrical system, such as failing capacitors, or it could come from mechanical failure in the motors. Technicians can install a “hard start kit” to overcome electrical deficiencies, or they can replace the malfunctioning motors. The problem must be addressed quickly, otherwise it could cause serious damage to the compressor, one of the most expensive parts of a heat pump to repair.

Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating has more than 25 years of experience with helping people in San Antonio, TX with heat pump repair and work for air conditioners, heaters, and other comfort systems. You can depend on our quality work to handle any issues you may encounter with your heat pump. Contact us to set up an appointment today.

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Do Heat Pumps Have Special Maintenance Needs?

Friday, June 6th, 2014

Heat pumps are very similar to air conditioning systems: they use an identical system of circulating refrigerant between two sets of coils to carry out heat exchange (moving heat from one location to another) and contain a similar set of components in an almost copycat configuration. They both use indoor and outdoor cabinets, with the compressor housed in the outdoor cabinet, and two sets of fans used to move air across the coils. The indoor blower fans send conditioned air into the ductwork.

Because of their similarities, they also share similar maintenance needs that a technician will take care of when he or she arrives for the annual tune-up and inspection. The technician will look over the electrical system, the capacitors, the motors, the compressor, the thermostat… none of this is different from one system to the other.

But heat pumps do have some specific needs, which are listed below. Make sure that when you schedule heat pump maintenance in Selma, TX, you call the experienced team at Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating.

The special maintenance needs of a heat pump

  • The reversing valve: The component that makes the difference between a heat pump and a standard air conditioner is the valve the controls the flow of refrigerant. The reversing valve is located in the outdoor unit connected to the compressor. As refrigerant exits from the compressor, the reversing valve guides the direction it will go, and subsequently, whether the system will run in heating or cooling mode. Part of maintenance is to see that this crucial valve is operating correctly and doesn’t need replacement.
  • The drip pans—both of them: Air conditioners have a condensate pan to catch moisture that drips down from the evaporator coil, where a drain and pump removes it. Because a heat pump can swap the role of the two coils, both the indoor and outdoor unit perform evaporation and therefore there are two sets of condensate pans to check and clean at each maintenance visit.
  • The thermostat: The thermostat for a heat pump must go an extra level of control because it activates the reversing valve as well. If the thermostat is miscalibrated or loses its connection to the reversing valve, the heat pump will become stuck in one mode or the other.

Have you had your heat pump maintenance yet?

All home comfort systems require annual maintenance to make sure they work correctly, efficiently, and without impending repair needs. The special balance needed for a heat pump to work as both heater and AC means they must have technicians familiar with their workings to perform the maintenance. You’ll find the experienced people for the job at Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating.

We have worked on heat pump maintenance in Selma, TX for over 25 years, and our preventive maintenance agreement will take care of all your needs for tune-ups and inspections.

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Why Should I Install a Heat Pump Instead of a Traditional AC?

Friday, May 16th, 2014

Any time a homeowner is faced with replacing an old central air conditioning system, he or she should also consider the possibility of installing a heat pump as a replacement instead of a standard AC. Heat pumps offer a number of great advantages as home comfort systems that make them attractive as substitutes for air conditioners. Although they usually cost more for initial installation than ACs (they are more complicated machines), they will quickly pay back the extra costs.

At Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating, we often recommend that our customers choose heat pump installation in Boerne, TX rather than continue with traditional air conditioning.

Call us today and talk to our cooling specialists to find out if a heat pump is you best option for this summer… as well as the rest of the year.

What makes a heat pump such a good option as an AC replacement?

A heat pump is a two-in-one device. It works as both a heater and an air conditioner. When you choose to install a heat pump to replace an AC, you are also choosing to replace your heater. In one unit, you can have all your comfort needs for the year covered.

You won’t have to worry about a heat pump failing to live up to the standards of your current air conditioning. Heat pumps essentially are air conditioners; they have the same capability to cool a house as a standalone AC of comparable size. The difference is that a heat pump can shift the direction it carries out heat exchange, and instead of removing heat from indoors, it removes heat from outdoors and transports it inside a home. With only one adjustment on the thermostat, you’ll move from effective cooling to effective heating.

You’ll also have energy-saving heating: the switch from a furnace to a heat pump can save you as much as 30% off your winter heating bills. The reason for this energy efficiency is that heat pumps do not create heat by burning fuel; they move heat by using a small amount of electrical power.

The only drawback that heat pumps have is one that makes almost no difference in San Antonio. Because they must absorb heat from the outside air during heating mode, they will struggle in below-freezing temperatures. San Antonio winters rarely drop below the low ‘40s, making heat pumps ideal for our climate.

Heat pump installation in Boerne, TX

If all this has made you excited about installing a heat pump for this summer, give us a call at Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating. Set up an appointment with one of our heat pump specialists to start the process toward year-round comfort.

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