Geothermal heating and cooling systems are gaining in popularity as people discover the benefits of energy-efficient, cost-effective heating without fossil fuels or greenhouse gas emissions. With installation costs dropping, geothermal HVAC systems are a wise investment. One of the concerns people have about this type of system, however, is when and how to repair it.
Here are 5 signs your geothermal heating and cooling system might need to be repaired:
1. Increased energy bills.
Even though geothermal systems use very little energy, a spike in your electric bill that isn’t attributable to other causes may indicate a problem. A system that isn’t functioning properly will work harder and use more energy than a well-functioning system.
2. Loss of heating or cooling power.
A loss of heating or cooling power is a more obvious indicator that something is wrong. Signs that one or more loops are broken include:
- The system working harder than usual to achieve the same level of comfort
- Ice forming on the inside of the cabinet
- A rattling noise
The indoor unit typically lasts 25 years, but will need to be replaced before the buried loops which can last 50 years. Call your technician to assess and correct the problem.
3. Wet patches of lawn.
Wet spots on the lawn indicate that one or more loops may be leaking. This is more likely to occur toward the end of their 50-year life expectancy, but if you notice wet patches on your lawn in conjunction with loss of heating and cooling power, contact a technician. To diagnose the problem, the technician will insert a dye that will indicate the source of the leak so it can be repaired.
4. Heavy corrosion.
Another issue that may occur toward the end of the system’s life is corrosion. Corroded coils restrict the exchange of heat and, unfortunately, can’t simply be cleaned off like dirt or ice. If your system is 20 years old or older, this is a strong indication that it is ready to be replaced. A new system will also replace the old refrigerant blend (R-22) with one that is environmentally friendly (R-410A).
5. Iced over coils.
Ice develops on the coils when there is a refrigerant leak because they are no longer absorbing heat sufficiently. An expert technician can generally repair the leak unless the system is too old. In this case, a system replacement is warranted.
As with any HVAC system, regular maintenance by an HVAC professional will keep your geothermal heating and cooling system in top shape throughout its lifetime.
Indoor Air Quality is here to assist with all your HVAC needs. Contact us today! We serve homes in Highlands Ranch and throughout the Denver Metro Area.