Troubleshooting Your Geothermal HVAC System in Portsmouth, VA

geothermal diagram

This spring and summer, it’s likely that you’ll be cooling your Portsmouth, VA home with your geothermal HVAC system. Unfortunately, you might also start noticing an issue or two with the system that requires troubleshooting. Here are some potential situations that will need professional service.


Water or refrigerant might leak from geothermal system pipes. This doesn’t differ much from the way a conventional HVAC unit leaks refrigerant from its coils.

Potential warning signs include your home being uncomfortable, frost or ice forming on the above-ground system components, or muddy and wet spots around your yard when it hasn’t rained. Service technicians can pinpoint leak sources using special dyes to avoid digging up too much of your yard.


Some geothermal systems develop corrosion on their heat exchange coils. That means they don’t heat or cool the home as effectively as they once did.


Except for mini-splits, most AC installations need ductwork to move conditioned air throughout a home, and geothermal systems share this requirement. However, the ductwork can keep the geothermal system from accomplishing its purpose. Improper load balance, disrupted airflow, gaps in the design and dirty air filters can all keep cool air from reaching every room in your house.


Your geothermal system has pumps to keep water or coolant moving through the buried ground loop. When these pumps stop working or develop problems, they don’t circulate the water necessary for heating and cooling. Technicians can repair some pumps or replace them when necessary.


Refrigerant leaks don’t just minimize or interrupt system performance. They can also contaminate your home’s water supply if it comes from a well. If this is the case, watch out for faucet water that smells or appears discolored; it might not be safe for human consumption.

Geothermal systems are complicated, and repairs may involve digging. Refrigerant is toxic, so untrained individuals should not attempt to fix leaks. Contact us at Climatemakers of VA for all your geothermal heat pump needs.

Image provided by iStock