Troubleshooting Heat Pump Problems

Heat_PumpHeat pumps are one of the most efficient heating systems available, pulling cold or warm molecules from the air to either heat or cool your home, depending on your temperature setting. Even when the temperature is as low as 0 degrees Fahrenheit, there are still warm air molecules a heat pump can use to create warmth throughout your home. The same is true for cooling your house effectively even at temperatures of over 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

Although heat pumps are well-designed machines that can withstand a lot of use, even the best machines can wear down over time. We’re going to take a look at 3 problems you might have with your heat pump and what you can do about them.

Heat Pump is Icing Over

Heavy icing on the outdoor unit can encase vital components of the system and cause it to break down. Heat pumps have a self-defrosting function, but if the ice is too thick your unit may have trouble staying clear. If the weather is just particularly harsh, you can manually melt the ice using water from a hose so your heat pump can function properly.

However, if there is more ice building up on your heat pump than what seems normal for the weather, there are a few things you should check:

  • Monitor refrigerant levels
  • Make sure the fan is running
  • Ensure water is not leaking onto the unit
  • Keep unit free of blockage

If the problem isn’t readily apparent, you should call your local HVAC services company to come take a look. Heat pumps are complex pieces of machinery and attempting to fix something without the proper knowledge could result in more damage and increased repair costs down the road.

Heat Pump Won’t Stop Running

If your heat pump is constantly running, there are a few things you should be aware of. Unlike furnace heating, during winter months a heat pump is actually designed to run perpetually. However, if temperatures aren’t dropping below 30 degrees Fahrenheit and your system is still running non-stop, there might be an issue going on behind the scenes.

Some of these problems could include:

  • Unit is frozen over (see above)
  • Refrigerant is leaking
  • Compressor is malfunctioning
  • Your system isn’t powerful enough for the size of your home
  • Your home isn’t well insulated

Again, while you can look into these issues and probably deal with some of them on your own, we urge you to consult with a local heating and cooling expert. They’ll be able to determine exactly what the problem is and deal with it in the best possible way so as to avoid any further damage to your system.

Heat Pump isn’t Heating Your Home

Another problem that can crop up with heat pump systems is that either your home isn’t being warmed properly, or cold air is coming out when it should be hot.

The first and easiest step to take is to check your unit to ensure it wasn’t switched to air conditioning mode. If that’s the extent of your troubles, pat yourself on the back and enjoy the comfort that your heat pump provides.

If your heat pump is set to warm and is still blowing out cold air, it is possible that your unit hasn’t been cleaned properly and is just in need of some routine maintenance. This can be done by professional HVAC technicians once or twice a year just to make sure your system is in good health. Proper maintenance will also extend the life of your heat pump.

If after a routine tune-up your heat pump is still not performing to your expectations, it may be time to consider a replacement. Once again, this is something a certified professional Heating and Cooling technician can handle.

We hope that you are able to troubleshoot and fix any issues you may be having with your heat pump. If you find that the problems with your heat pump persist even after working your way through the tips provided here, our team of certified professional HVAC technicians would be happy to help you out. You can schedule an inspection and service of your system conveniently over the phone or through our online form!