Heat Pump Troubleshooting Tips

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Heat pumps are HVAC systems that keep you comfy all-year-round by extracting heat from the air and pumping it to another location. Pulling hot air from inside a home and pumping it outside during the summer and vice versa in the winter. Anyone who owns a heat pump will attest to the system’s utility. Accordingly, when they break down, you’ll want to get them back up and running to restore comfort in your home as quickly as possible!

Bloomington Heating & Air has the following heat pump troubleshooting tips, so heat pump owners know what to check, how to fix it, and when it’s time to call their local HVAC technicians. We’re always happy to help, so if you need help diagnosing the issue, contact us to schedule HVAC maintenance!

Not Heating Properly

A heat pump that isn’t producing hot air can be frustrating. The following are the most likely causes for a heat pump that isn’t heating.

  • Dirty air filter. Air filters catch debris, such as dirt and dust, preventing them from making their way into the home. However, over time this debris can build-up and block airflow to the part of the heat pump that produces hot air: the compressor. Check the air filter; if it’s too dirty, the solution may be as simple as replacing it with a new one.
  • Blocked unit. Heat pumps pull air from the outside of a home to produce heat indoors. So, naturally, if a heat pump is blocked by leaves, ice, or any other manner of debris, the pump will have trouble accessing that air. Check the heat pump’s outdoor unit, if it’s covered in debris, clean it off so it can function correctly.
  • Low refrigerant charge. If neither the air filter nor the unit is blocked, the system’s refrigerant levels might be low, perhaps from a leak. In this case, we encourage homeowners to have a professional check the pump’s levels and recharge the system. Contact us to request our heating repair services!

Not Cooling Properly

During those sweltering summer months, heat pump owners will want to ensure their system is properly producing cold air. Should a heat pump fail to do so, it could be due to the following.

  • Electrical problems. First, check to ensure the thermostat is set to cool mode. If the thermostat is set correctly, yet the system isn’t cooling, this could be due to an electrical problem. Electrical problems are best left to the professionals at our HVAC company.
  • Dirty components. If the air coming from the vent is lukewarm, there’s a good chance the heat pump components are dirty. Clean the outside unit and replace the air filter regularly — or sign up for HVAC preventative maintenance and have us do it for you!
  • Damaged reversing valve. Alternatively, if the air coming from the vents is hot, the problem could be a broken reversing valve. The reversing valve is one of the foremost parts of the heat pump system, responsible for heating and cooling, so homeowners should contact us right away for heat pump repairs.
  • Low refrigerant charge. As for a heat pump that fails to produce heat, low refrigerant levels could be the cause. If you suspect this is the case, contact our professionals for HVAC services.

Won’t Turn On

If a heat pump isn’t turning on at all, there could be several factors at play, many of which require a professional’s assistance for a remedy. These are the most common causes.

  • Tripped breaker. Loss of power due to a tripped breaker could be causing the problem. Ensure all breaker switches are set to the correct position; if they are, then the issue is likely electrical.
  • Electrical problems. First, check the thermostat to ensure it’s programmed to start up at the correct time. If everything is set as it should be, then the issue is an electrical problem, in which case, call one of our technicians.
  • Damaged starter capacitor. If a faint clicking noise can be heard while the heat pump is attempting to turn on, the culprit is probably a damaged starter capacitor. This part is responsible for producing the electrical charge needed to start the system and will need to be replaced by one of our expert HVAC technicians when damaged.
  • Damaged reversing valve. A damaged reversing valve will allow a heat pump to turn on for cooling, but not to produce heat. If this happens, request HVAC repairs for a replacement reversing valve.

Running Constantly

A constantly running heat pump can become a real nuisance. Before long, it’ll begin to affect the owner’s utility bill. The following are common reasons a heat pump won’t stop running.

  • Electrical problems. Once again, owners should always check to ensure the thermostat is set properly. If everything seems correct, then the issue is likely electrical in nature. A wiring issue could be halting communication throughout the system, or it may need recalibration. In any case, an HVAC professional will need to be called.
  • Damaged compressor contractor. Responsible for regulating the amount of power going to the heat pump, the compressor contractor is a crucial part of the system. A constantly running heat pump could hint at a broken or malfunctioning compressor contractor. Call one of our expert technicians to diagnose and replace the piece.
  • Extreme weather conditions. In circumstances of turbulent weather, such as an exceptionally cold climate, heat pumps will constantly run, not due to malfunction, but because they are struggling to draw any hot air in from outdoors. The good news is that nothing is wrong with the system. The bad news is that owners will have to wait out the weather conditions.

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