Heat Pump Troubleshooting Guide: Common Problems and Solutions

The functioning of an installed heat pump can become faulty and complicated when the system refuses to heat up, can’t cool, or run constantly. These problems can arise due to specific causes that homeowners can conveniently point out and fix once they get the hang of them.

Heat pumps are efficient cooling and heating systems that employ refrigerants to conduct heat between houses, buildings, and other sources connected to the system.

This article features common heat pump problems and solutions, a preventive heat pump maintenance guide, and ways to seek professional HVAC experts in Santa Clarita.

Table of Contents

Common Heat Pump Problems and Their Solutions

Identifying a faulty heat pump is easiest when you can first pinpoint the symptoms of the problem. Whether your heat pump is short-cycling, freezing up, giving off strange odors, or leaking water, there is a complete guide on heat pump troubleshooting available to fix these problems once and for all.

» Problem #1 - Heat Pump is not Heating

Homeowners can tune in to the thermostat as per their requirements when the season changes. Although switching modes as per needs is convenient for the homeowners, comprehending the operations can take time and effort. In its heating mode, the outdoor unit works as an evaporator, absorbing heat from the outside, and the indoor unit acts as a condensing unit, conducting heat into the home.

However, sometimes, this function can be hampered due to the following faulty scenarios:

  • The outdoor unit is clogged and, hence, blocked
  • Incorrect calibration of thermostat
  • Reversing valve has broken

» Solution to Heat Pump is not Heating

If the heat pump is not heating, it is advisable to either replace disposable filters or wash the reusable ones. In the case of blocked outdoor units, which often happen in the winter due to debris and snow, clearing up the airways of branches, snow, and other hindrances can prove a lifesaver. The thermostat must be set to heating mode and the fan to “auto.”

If the thermostat stops operating, getting a new one is recommended. There is no need to worry because the HVAC repair and maintenance cost for the heat pump system is reasonable. Thus, if the reversing valve is broken, an HVAC technician can be hired to fix it.

» Problem #2 - Heat Pump is not Cooling

Homeowners usually switch their thermostats to the cooling mode when the summer is just around the corner. As per the maneuvering done, heat pumps automatically change the course of the refrigerant’s flow to conduct cool air to the homes. In cooling mode, heat pumps work as air conditioners, using refrigerants to ward off indoor heat.

The indoor heat unit evaporates by absorbing humidity and heat from the home’s air with its refrigerant-filled coils. In contrast, the outdoor unit acts as a conducting unit by dissipating refrigerant’s stored heat to the outside world. However, several issues can arise due to specific causes that may prevent the heat pump from cooling and performing its functions in the summer.

  • Low refrigerant levels in the system
  • Clogged air filters and dirty outdoor and indoor coils
  • The reversing valve is broken or stuck

» Solution to Heat Pump is not Cooling

If the heat pump stops cooling, it is recommended to first check on the thermostat settings and ensure it is set to cooling mode and the fan to “auto.” In case of a refrigerant leak, an HVAC technician can be hired to refill the refrigerant or fix the leak. Lastly, a malfunctioning reversing valve can be changed and altered.

» Problem #3 - Heat Pump is running constantly

In the normal functioning of a heat pump, heating and cooling cycles run intermittently. Endless cycles or faulty transitions can considerably weaken the system and, consequently, increase the electricity bills. The prime driver, the thermostat sensor, tells the heat pump to start functioning when the indoor temperature is above the thermostat settings in cooling mode and below the settings in heating mode.

The heat pump carries on its function until the temperature reaches the threshold set by the thermostat. Therefore, the thermostat must be checked first when the heat pump runs constantly. However, there are a plethora of reasons which can be held responsible for the faulty functioning of heat pumps.

  • Tuning the thermostat at a level higher in winter and too low in summer
  • Clogged outdoor and indoor coils
  • Refrigerant heat pump leaks tone down the efficiency of a system
  • Compressor contactors are faulty

» Solution to Heat Pump is running constantly

If the heat pump won’t stop running, there is a chance that you have set the thermostat either too low in summer or too high in winter. Check on the setting to reach a moderate level. Faulty compressor contactors can also make the system run constantly. In this case, replacing the contactor is the only viable option.

Furthermore, it could be that the heat pump is not the proper size for your home. If such a problem arises, an HVAC technician performs a load calculation and proposes a suitable size according to the requirement.

Also Read:

How Can Save Money When Upgrading Your Hvac System

How to Troubleshoot Your Heat Pump

A faulty heat pump is a cause of utmost distress for homeowners. Learning about heat pump troubleshooting can help you look into minor issues and propose a maintenance plan to get back on track.

» Adjust and check the thermostat settings

When the heat pump stops functioning correctly, the first step that can be taken is to have a look at your heat pump’s thermostat settings. Check on the power supply, battery life, and electrical panel to fix the problem.

» Look into the air filters and registers

An obstructed air filter can hinder the airflow in a heat pump, causing it to stop functioning. Consequently, the system either heats up or shuts down entirely. This can only be fixed by either cleaning the air filters and registers or replacing the old ones with fresh filters and registers.

» Survey the unit power

Heat pumps have dedicated power units and switches that must be set to ON. Checking on electrical panel switches can also ensure normal functioning.

When to Seek a Professional HVAC Technician

» Heat pump repair near me

When the DIY fixing and maneuvering stops being effective, the last resort is hiring an HVAC technician. Of many HVAC contractors available in the market, Hilo Aire has proven to dispense remarkable heat pump maintenance and repair services in Santa Clarita. Rely on Hilo Aire to repair your heat pump issues.

Heat Pump Preventive Maintenance Tips

Below are several preventive heat pump maintenance tips that every heat pump owner needs to adopt to ensure regular and efficient operation.

  • Go for a monthly air filter cleanup to clear the system of obstructions.
  • Lubricate the system components to taper friction.
  • Fix any leaks in the refrigerant system.
  • Survey the refrigerant levels and recharge, in case needed.
  • Check for loose connections and damaged wires.

Summing up

When your heat pump stops working as it should, don't let concerns linger. Instead, act swiftly, thoroughly inspect the system, identify any issues, and fix them right away for optimal functioning. But remember, some challenges should be left to the professionals. That's where we come in! Our heat pump experts in Santa Clarita and surrounding areas are proud to offer top-tier heating and air conditioning services.

Don't compromise on comfort or efficiency. Allow us to fine-tune your heat pump, troubleshooting any issues to guarantee peak performance. Ready to take action? Contact us today at (888) 445-6247 and let Hilo Aire handle the heavy lifting for optimal heating this winter.

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