Are there studies or have you had experiences where heat pumps have failed to cool on high heat days? We've known that cold climate heat pumps are needed in areas with colder climates (like Denver) however news of failure rates tied to high heat days was new. Looking for input to inform whether or not this is common or still being tested in different climate zones. 

Thanks!

Tags: climate, cold, heat, pump

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Eric and David you may find this laboratory study of real world dirty AC coils brought in to the lab and studied how they worked. They tested the dirty air conditioners, then washed them thoroughly with a garden hose and tested again. They also used a commercial coil cleaning fluid and tested them for a third time.

On average cleaning did not improve performance, because somewhat dirty coils turned out to work 7% better than clean coils and clogged coils worked 7% worse

https://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/article/can-skip-chore


Walta

Dig into this a little more and you find this - 

https://m.facebook.com/valatmeasurequick/videos/929282937246833/?re...

He makes the point repeatedly that that study was misquoted, misunderstood or flawed in some way. I agree there is little to no value in cleaning a relatively clean coil. But if the coil is dirty enough to restrict the air flow - there are major issues like loss of cooling, high energy consumption and part failure.

I am not slamming that study referenced on GBA. If I understand what it said, they removed condensers from the house and took them to a lab to be measured. Or did they remove the whole system? They are trying to to do laboratory quality measurement on real world problems. That is always tough.

Back to the original question - I don't see that heat pump vs straight cooling is more failure prone by this. Heat pumps run a longer portion of the year so I expect them to need more maintenance. But I don't see heat pumps to be extremely failure prone. YMMV

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