Troubleshooting Checklist for Geothermal Systems

August 6, 2014


Geothermal heating and cooling systems need regular maintenance to prevent breakdowns. Use this checklist to troubleshoot problems before calling your HVAC technician.

Keep your geothermal heating and cooling system well-maintained.

Keep your geothermal heating and cooling system well-maintained.

Even though geothermal heating and cooling systems have a longer lifetime compared to a conventional central air conditioning and heating system, they can still experience problems and breakdown. Regular and scheduled preventive maintenance by an HVAC technician can avert potential issues in the system. The U.S. Department of Energy has revealed that inadequately maintained systems consume an additional 25 percent of energy compared to well-maintained systems.

Geothermal System Troubleshooting Checklist

Whenever geothermal heat pumps break down or do not provide adequately cool or heated air, it may be necessary to seek the assistance of a St. Louis HVAC company, who specializes in geothermal systems. However, homeowners can check on the system prior to getting assistance from an HVAC technician. This geothermal troubleshooting checklist can pinpoint typical issues affecting the system.

 Season setting: Many homeowners request for technical assistance for something as simple as a wrong thermostat setting. The thermostat setting should be checked to ensure that the proper setting is selected for the particular season.

 Temperature setting: The heat pump will not start if the house is already cool during summer, or it has already attained the temperature setting of the thermostat. The temperature setting can be lowered to restart the cooling system. The temperature can be set at around five degrees lower during the summer or five degrees higher during the winter.

 Fan: It is important to maintain an auto setting for the fan to allow it to function when the heat pump starts to increase or decrease the temperature of the house. This item on the checklist ensures optimal energy efficiency in the system.

 Power: The circuit breakers should also be checked for blown fuses. The power switch inside the house and on the outdoor unit should also be checked. This particular step is often overlooked by some homeowners.

 Room grilles: Cool air inside a room will be reduced when an air register inside the room is closed. This can cause a homeowner to think that the heat pump is not working properly. It is important to ensure that the return grilles and supply registers are open.

 Filter: The filter should be checked since an obstructed filter will prevent the HVAC equipment from working properly. It can cause the following issues:

  • Allow dust to enter the heat pump.
  • Hinder air from flowing and circulating inside the house.
  • Affect the performance of the geothermal system in heating or cooling the house, which results in higher utility bills.
  • Reduce the lifetime of the heat pump because of the accumulation of dust inside the equipment.

Regular and Scheduled Maintenance of the Geothermal System

It is important to ensure the filter is changed every month. Another geothermal heat pump maintenance homeowners can perform is to frequently remove foliage from the outdoor unit. A professional HVAC technician can conduct additional maintenance activities on the system. After completing the checklist, if your geothermal system is still not working properly, call Scott-Lee Heating Company at (314) 200-0788.

Photo credit: stockmonkeys.com via Flickr