The Most Common Heat Pump Problems and How to Avoid Them

fotex2021-02-09T15:42:19-08:00January 25th, 2021|Blog, Heat Pumps, HVAC Blog|

Like all appliances, your heat pump may not be working properly. Heating problems happen all the time. Maybe your heat pump won’t turn on, or it’s not heating properly. Luckily, there are ways you can avoid these problems. This blog will go over the most common heat pump problems and how to avoid them.

Heat pump problems can be a hassle, which is why it’s nice to have some knowledge on the common issues to be able to keep your pump running smoothly. Below we will cover the four most common heat pump issues:

Heat Pump Not Turning On

Is your heat pump not turning on at all? The cause is likely due to one of these four major problems:

  • Thermostat problems – First of all, check if your thermostat is set to have the heat come at the right time. If everything seems correct, then the problem might be a miscalibration that’s causing the thermostat to misread the temperature. It can also be an electrical issue stopping the thermostat from communicating with the heat pump. In either case, you’ll need to have the thermostat serviced by a professional.
  • Power loss – Many times, a tripped breaker is the root source of the problem. Check to make sure your breakers are all correctly positioned. But, if this happens on a regular basis, it’s likely a sign of an electrical failure with the heat pump. If this is the case, you will need professional service.
  • Broken starter capacitor – Take a moment to listen to your heat pump. If you hear a faint clicking sound that takes place at the time the heat pump is supposed to be turned on, then it’s highly likely that the problem is with the starter capacitor. This component is responsible for transmitting electrical charges that turn on the motors. You’ll need a technician to replace it.
  • Broken reverse valve – The reversing valve allows for the heat pump to work as both a heater and an air conditioner by reversing the refrigerant’s direction. If the heat pump turns on when you want air conditioning, then this is likely the cause. This would also have to be replaced by a technician.

Heat Pump Not Heating

Is your heat pump not blowing hot air? There are typically three main causes for this issue:

  • Unit is blocked – Heat pumps pull heat from the air outside. If your airflow to your unit is blocked by leaves, ice, or other debris, it can cause your heat pump to not work properly. Luckily the solution is quite simple. Clean your heat pump and clear any debris that could be blocking the airflow.
  • Air filter is dirty – The job of air filters is to catch dirt and debris, but when too much builds up, it can block the airflow of your compressor. The compressor is the part that heats up the air. The solution is to simply change your air filter to a new one if dirty.
  • Refrigerant charge is low – If your refrigerant levels are too low (can be due to a leak), your heat pump might struggle to bring in enough indoor heat to your house. A professional would have to come check if your refrigerant levels are too low or if your system needs to be recharged.

 

The Most Common Heat Pump Problems & How to Avoid Them

 

Heat Pump Not Cooling

Is your heat pump not cooling? It can be due to one of a few problems, most which are similar to those listed above.

  • Thermostat problems – Check if your thermostat is set to have the heat come at the right time. If everything seems correct, then the problem might be a miscalibration that’s causing the thermostat to read the temperature incorrectly. It can also be an electrical issue stopping the thermostat from communicating with the heat pump. In either case, you’ll need to have the thermostat serviced by a professional.
  • Broken reversing valve – If your heat pump is running, but the air coming out of your vent is hot, it’s likely a problem with your reversing valve. Again, this component reverses the refrigerant and allows it to act as a cooler and a heater. If broken, it will need to be replaced by a technician.
  • Refrigerant charge is low – Again, if your refrigerant levels are low, your heat pump will struggle to cool your home. You’ll need a technician to check your levels and fix any leaks.
  • The components are dirty – If the air coming out of your vents is lukewarm, that’s a sign that your components are dirty. To fix the problem, you simply have to go outside and clean off the heat pump, so it’s free of any debris. It’s also a good idea to check the air filter to see if it needs to be changed.

Heat Pump Running Constantly

If your heat pump is constantly running, it’s usually due to these three main causes:

  • Unusually cold weather – Heat pumps are designed to work more gradually than a furnace. If the weather is especially cold, your heat pump could constantly run without any issues.
  • Thermostat problems – Check to see if your thermostat is set correctly. If so, the problem might be a miscalibration that’s causing the thermostat to read the temperature incorrectly. It can also be an electrical issue stopping the thermostat from communicating with the heat pump. In either case, you’ll need to have the thermostat serviced by a professional.
  • Broken compressor contractor – The compressor contactor controls how much power travels to your heat pump. If it’s damaged, it’s possible that your heat pump runs constantly. You will need a professional to replace the part.

 

The Most Common Heat Pump Problems & How to Avoid Them

To avoid heat pump problems, the best thing you can do is schedule a regular maintenance session on your system to keep it at its best state and prevent issues from arising later on. At Atlas HVAC Inc, we know that HVAC systems can be complicated, which is why we’re here to help. We hope this blog helped you understand the most common heat pump problems and how to avoid them. If you want to schedule a maintenance session for your HVAC system, give us a call at (877) 452-8527 or visit our website to schedule an HVAC maintenance session.