Common Problems with Your Geothermal Heater

“Common” is actually a misnomer when talking about geothermal systems. Part of the attraction of the system is its reliability: using coils full of liquid to pull heat from the unchanging temperatures beneath the ground (or to release heat from your home and cool the air in the summer). Here in Portland, OR, the system matches our environment quite well and with proper maintenance you shouldn’t expect many problems from your geothermal system. Having said that, no system is perfect, and issues with your heater may crop up from time to time. Here are a few of them for you to consider.

Insufficient Heat

If the geothermal system isn’t circulating liquid through it, it might not be generating heat the way it needs to. Similar problems can arise if too much air travels through the system if there’s a fluid leak somewhere, or if the reversing valve is damaged somehow. Either way, it forces the system to work harder to do its job, resulting in higher bills than necessary and an increase possibility of repair.

Electrical Issues

Geothermal systems still rely on fans to move the heated air through your home and pumps to circulate the liquid through the tubes. When they run into electrical problems – frayed wires, loose connections and the like – it can shut the whole system down, or at least create significant problems with the system’s performance.


Leaks are infrequent, especially below ground where the earth protects the coils from damage. They are a little more common at the apex of the system, however, which is actually good news since they can be treated far more readily there. Besides the damage from the leak itself, the loss of liquid will severely impact the system’s performance, and can lead to other problems to boot.

If you detect problems with your geothermal system, call the pros at Clean Air Act, Inc. to help!

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