Your geothermal heating system is designed to draw heat out of the ground and into your home, providing you with constant, low energy consumption heating and cooling throughout the year no matter what the temperature outside is. However, like all appliances, geothermal heating and cooling systems can break down over time due to use and age. Thankfully, there are a couple of warning signs that can indicate when you should contact an HVAC professional to repair or replace your geothermal system before it completely fails and leaves you without the ability to control your home's temperature.
If you notice that there are parts of your lawn that are wet and spongy, the ground loops of your geothermal system have begun to leak water. This is usually because of actual physical damage and means that the water that carries heat into and out of your home has begun to leak underneath your lawn. This will quickly result in the reduced performance of your geothermal system, which means that you will likely also experience reduced heating and cooling performance within your home. Contact a professional as soon as possible, as once all the water has leaked out of the coils your geothermal system will no longer function at all.
Increased Energy Bills
If you notice that your energy bills suddenly spike, with seemingly no increase in the amount of electricity that you use every month, the likely culprit is a geothermal HVAC system that is no longer working efficiently. Because geothermal systems use very little energy generally, when they begin to malfunction and use up a great deal more power, the effects on your energy bill will be noticeable fairly quickly.
Ice and Rust on the Coils
Take a look at your heat exchange coils on the interior part of your geothermal heating and cooling unit. If the coils have become iced over, there is likely a refrigerant leak in your system which is causing ice to form. A professional can fix this, but if it continues to happen, your system probably needs to be replaced. Rust is caused by moisture buildup, but will continue to eat away at the coils themselves and ruin the efficiency of your geothermal heat pump. Rust also points to extreme age, which means that your geothermal system is likely not operating at peak efficiency and should be replaced in order to improve the performance of your home's heating and cooling and reduce your energy bills.
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