If you rely on a heat pump for warm air, you might have run into issues with the unit not functioning properly. Heat pumps have many working parts that can be susceptible to problems, especially during times of unusually cold weather or when using the system after a prolonged period of disuse. Broken thermostats, dirty filters, or an exterior blockage of the unit can all lead to an inefficient heat pump.
When your heat pump isn’t turning on, isn’t heating properly, isn’t cooling efficiently, or is running constantly, it’s important to find the source of the problem.
Four common problems with heat pumps
- The heat pump isn’t turning on. If your heat pump isn’t turning on at all, you’ll first want to check the power source. Occasionally, heat pumps can cause breakers to trip, resulting in power loss to the unit. If this isn’t the case, there might be an underlying problem with the thermostat. Check to be sure the thermostat is set to the appropriate setting and temperature.
- The heat pump isn’t providing heat. If the heat pump isn’t providing warm air as it should, the unit could be blocked from the outside. Since heat pumps take air from the outdoors, it’s important to check for debris and buildup around the exterior of the unit. If the exterior is free and clear of blockage, a dirty filter could also be to blame. In some cases, you could also need more refrigerant to charge the unit.
- The heat pump is running constantly. If your heat pump isn’t completing a proper cycle and is constantly running, it could simply be due to unusually cold temperatures outdoors. If the temperatures are not cooler than usual, the problem likely lies in the thermostat. Give this a thorough check to ensure it is functioning correctly.
- The heat pump isn’t cooling. If your heat pump isn’t cooling, many of the same issues mentioned above can be at play. Check to be sure the thermostat is on and set correctly, that the components within the heat pump are clean and free of debris, and that the refrigerant levels are acceptable.
When to call an HVAC professional for your heat pump
If you have checked the thermostat, filters, refrigerant levels, and the exterior of the unit for a blockage and your heat pump is still failing to function properly, you will likely want to enlist the help of an HVAC technician to get to the root of the problem.