Common Heat Pump Problems. Explained by a New Jersey Tech | Air Experts

Heat pump problems can be extremely frustrating and expensive. What’s even more frustrating is calling in a professional (and paying them) to solve a problem you could have easily fixed yourself.

To help, we’ll share some easy DIY tips to try if your heat pump is:

  • Blowing cold air
  • Running constantly
  • Won’t turn on

Problem #1: Your heat pump is blowing cold air

Before calling a professional, check to see if:

1. Your heat pump is meeting your desired temperature.

Check your thermostat to see if your home is reaching the temperature you set. If so, your heat pump is probably working just fine and the air just FEELS cold to you.

We know, this sounds crazy, but it’s true! Our body temperature is 98.6° F. Heat pumps blow air that’s typically 85 to 93° F, making the air they produce feel cold to you.

If your thermostat is reaching your desired temperature, there is no need to call a professional, your heat pump is probably working just fine.

2. Your thermostat fan setting is set to “ON” instead of AUTO.

To check this, simply go to your thermostat and make sure the switch is turned to AUTO instead of ON.

thermostat fan set to auto

If your thermostat is set to ON instead of AUTO, it’s blowing air constantly, regardless of whether that air has been heated or not.

If you’ve checked both the thermostat and the fan setting, and your heat pump is still blowing cold air, it’s time to call a professional.

Problem #2: Your heat pump is running constantly

Before calling a professional, check to see if:

1. Your heat pump is meeting your desired temperature. Check your thermostat to see if the temperature matches what you’ve set on the thermostat.

 If your heat pump is reaching the desired temperature, it’s working just fine!

 Heat pumps don’t create warm air, they move it into your home from outside.

When it’s very cold out (below 20-30 degrees), there is less heat to bring inside your home, meaning your heat pump needs to run constantly in order to keep your house at the right temperature.

 If your heat pump is not meeting your desired temperature, there could be a variety of issues, and these will need to be fixed by a professional.

  • The heat pump is running in AC mode. Your heat pump can switch from heating to cooling, and sometimes it can get stuck in AC mode (the valve that switches the direction of refrigerant is broken). This would cause your heat pump to run constantly without properly heating your home.
  • The outdoor unit isn’t running: The job of the outdoor unit is to absorb heat and push it inside. If your outdoor unit isn’t running, your indoor system will keep running but without the heat from outside.
  • You have an undersized system: A heating system that is too small for your home will not be able to keep up with demand. This results in your system running continuously but never meet your desired temperature.
  • A refrigerant leak: If there is a refrigerant leak, your heat pump will struggle to pull in heat through refrigerant lines.

Problem #3: Your heat pump won’t turn on

Before calling a professional…

 1. Check your thermostat: Is your thermostat set for the right temperature? Heat pumps run in the winter and summer…so in the winter, make sure your heat pump is set to ‘heat’, and in the summer make sure it’s set to ‘cool’.

 To check if your heat pump is working, set your thermostat to either 5 degrees above (in winter) or 5 below (in summer) the current room temperature. If your heat pump kicks on, you’re good to go!

Heat pump thermostat settings

2. Reset the circuit breaker: The circuit breakers could have been tripped, reset the breaker and see if your heat pump turns on.

If your heat pump still won’t turn on, it’s time to contact a professional. There’s likely a more complex issue.

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