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Understanding Common Heat Pump Problems

Like all appliances, your heat pump can have issues from time to time. But in the middle of the winter is not when you want to learn about common issues. Instead, it is best to take a few moments to read up on common heat pump issues and what to do to avoid an unpleasant experience on a cold winter day or night. Below are the four most common problems homeowners experience related to their home’s heat pump and the causes.

Heat Pump Will Not Turn On

When a heat pump does not turn on, the issue is almost always one of the four common issues listed here:

  • Thermostat Issue: Thermostat issues include improper setting or program, a miscalibration of the unit, or an electrical problem stopping the thermostat from turning on the heat pump.
  • Power Loss: You are sure to know when the power to your home has failed. But you might not be aware that the breaker to your heat pump and thermostat is tripped.
  • Broken Starter Capacitor: If you can hear a faint clicking sound when you have your heat pump set to turn on, but it is not firing up, the issue is likely a bad starter capacitor responsible for transmitting the electricity to turn the motor.
  • Broken Reversing Valve: This is the valve that allows your heat pump to heat and cool your home. If you can only get cold air on the cooling setting but nothing from the heat setting, this valve is likely to blame.

Heat Pump Not Heating

If you are not getting warm air from your heat pump, the issue is likely to be one of these issues:

  • Dirty Air Filter: A dirty air filter will block the airflow to the compressor. When the airflow is insufficient, the unit activates the fail-safe shut-off.
  • Unit Is Blocked: Like the dirty air filter if the outside unit is blocked by snow, ice, or debris, it cannot draw air and will shut down.
  • Low Refrigerant: If the refrigerant level is too low due to a leak in the system, the heat pump will not produce enough warm air, and your home will remain cold.

Heat Pump Not Cooling

These issues are very similar to the not heating issues, including:

  • Thermostat Issue: These are the same as the heating issues, other than the unit should be set to cool mode.
  • Broken Reversing Valve: In this case, the reversing valve is stuck in the heating position and cannot produce cool air.
  • Dirty Components: If the air coming from your home’s vents is slightly warm, there is a good chance that the components outside are dirty. Clean off the heat pump to allow good airflow.
  • Low Refrigerant: Like the heating cycle, if the refrigerant is low due to a leak in the system, the heat pump will not produce cool air.

Heat Pump Is Constantly Running

There are three common reasons to notice that your heat pump never turns off, including:

  • Exceptionally Cold Weather: Heat pumps function more gradually than a furnace. So in very cold weather, they must run almost continuously to keep your home warm.
  • Thermostat Issue: Like in the case of a heat pump not turning on due to thermostat issues, it can also fail to turn the heat pump off. Typically, this is a calibration issue or wiring problem.
  • Broken Compressor Contractor: This device controls how much power is going to the heat pump. If damaged, it can cause the heat pump to run constantly.

If you are experiencing issues with your heat pump, call (512) 910-8123 to schedule an appointment with the pros at Parobek Plumbing & Air Conditioning.

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