Top 5 Common Heat Pump Problems and How to Fix Them

Top 5 Common Heat Pump Problems and How to Fix Them

Share This Post

Heat pumps are an efficient way to heat or cool your house. A heat pump runs off of electricity which is way more efficient than a furnace. It will conserve its energy by letting the laws of physics do its work. Heat naturally wants to go to cold places because there is less pressure, and the heat pump will pump either cool air from outside to inside or reverse depending on the conditions.

Just like a furnace and air conditioner, there is maintenance that needs to be addressed so you can avoid these problems. Here are the most common heat pump problems.

My Heat Pump is Not Working

Here are some steps you can take to get your heat pump working at home.

  • Your thermostat is the brain of the whole operation. If it is not working correctly that could be the cause. Easily replace the battery and check for loose wires.
  • The registers can be adjusted. Check if they are open so the air can flow out.
  • The indoor and outdoor units work cohesively, but only when they are both turned on. Your units have different switches and you should check to see if they are both on.
  • Air filter– your air filter makes sure that only clean air gets inside the units. If they have not been cleaned or replaced recently then this may be the problem. A clogged air filter blocks air from getting inside the unit. The unit won’t function properly with a dirty air filter.
  • Starter capacitor- the capacitor makes the heat pump motor run and without it starting correctly, it won’t work.
  • Reverse valve- the reverse valve switches the hot or cold mode on. This needs to function properly for a heat pump to work.

My Heat Pump is Consistently On

Your AC bill could be increased because the pump is running all the time. That isn’t supposed to happen. Here are a couple of things that could be happening.

  • Dirty air filters– the heat pump won’t run effectively without a fresh air supply. With a dirty air filter, there will be less airflow and the heat pump will need to be on for longer periods. This is an easy fix. You should clean your filters or if it has been over 4 months, replace them. This should be done every 3-4 months and cleaned every two weeks.
  • Thermostat settings- in winter your thermostat setting should not go higher than 72 degrees Fahrenheit and in the summers no lower than 78 degrees Fahrenheit. These are the ideal temperatures to avoid a high AC bill.
  • Refrigerant leak– a leak will keep the pump running because it can’t transfer the heat without the correct level of refrigerant. Call your HVAC professional to help fix this problem.
  • Coils– The coils build up dirt, oil, ice, or dust that prohibits proper function. You should have regularly scheduled maintenance for your heat pump to prevent this problem.

My Outdoor Unit is Frozen

A layer of ice on your outdoor unit is common in the winter months. But this can prohibit the heat pump to pump warm are into the house. The outdoor unit comes with a defrost mode but it only works from small amounts of ice but with large ice chunks, it can lead to permanent damage if left for too long. Check your outdoor unit frequently for large ice chunks and remove them. This is only applicable for the winter months.

My Heat Pump is Not Cooling the House

A problem that could prohibit your heat pump from cooling your house is the reverse valve. If you have a faulty reverse valve then it most likely won’t change from heat to cooling mode or vis versa. This can be checked and replaced by a professional.

Another problem could be the low refrigerant. Refrigerant helps cool and heat the air when it is being transferred. A leak or low refrigerant can affect the way that your house is cooled and heated. Check this liquid regularly to make sure that the levels don’t fluctuate too much.

My Heat Pump is Not Heating the House

A heat pump not working during the winter can be unbearable at times, leaving you un-cozy and cold. The most common reasons why it won’t heat the house are thermostat troubles, dirty air filter, outside unit is blocked, low refrigerant, and leaking ducts. These are easy fixes and the information was previously stated. Check batteries in your thermostat and airflow because these are common reasons why your heat pump won’t work.


If you’d like to learn more about heat pumps and how they work, contact our team today.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get updates and learn from the best

More To Explore

Looking To Upgrade Your HVAC System?

Get A Free Quote Today!