Like all of the appliances and components in your home, your heat pump can have issues from time to time. And when you discover it is not turning on or not heating as it once did, you need to know why. In some cases, it is a straightforward issue you can correct without calling in an HVAC professional. In other cases, you will understand the issue and know that it requires a skilled HVAC professional’s immediate attention to be safely corrected.

Heat Pump Is Not Turning On

If your heat pump is not turning on, it is almost always because of one of the four items listed below:

  1. Thermostat Problems- If you have a programmable thermostat, the first step is to check the program and make sure it is set to come on when you expect to find it running. If the program is correct, the issue could be a miscalibration causing the thermostat not to function correctly when reading the temperature. Or there could be an issue with the power to the thermostat. If the problem is anything other than a programming issue, you should call in a professional to evaluate the thermostat.
  2. Power Loss– A tripped breaker could be to blame for your lack of heat. Check your breakers to be sure that all are in the on position. Reset any that are tripped. If one breaker is frequently tripping, it indicates an electrical problem with the heat pump that needs professional service.
  3. Broken Starter Capacitor- Listen for a clicking sound when your heat pump should be turning on. If you hear the clicking, but nothing else is happening, then it is a safe bet that the capacitor has failed. This component is responsible for sending the electrical charge that turns on the motors. You will need to call in a pro to replace this component and inspect your heat pump.
  4. A Broken Reversing Valve- As the name indicates, this valve allows the heat pump to function as a heater and an air conditioner. If you are getting cold air when you want warm air, this is likely to be the issue, and it will need to be repaired by an HVAC professional.

Heat Pump Not Heating

If your heat pump is not blowing warm air, there are three common causes:

  1. Unit Is Blocked– Your heat pump pulls air from outside. If the unit is blocked by snow and ice, it will not draw in air, and it will not function. The solution is to remove the snow, ice, or other material blocking the airflow.
  2. Dirty Air Filter– The air filter is designed to trap dirt and debris. But when it becomes clogged, no air can pass through to the heat pump. The solution is as easy as removing the dirty, clogged air filter and replacing it with a new one to restore the airflow.
  3. Refrigerant Charge Is Low– If there is a leak in the refrigerant, the heat pump will struggle to heat your home. Only a professional can check the refrigerant level to determine if this is the issue and correct it.

Heat Pump Constantly Running

There are three common reasons that your heat pump would constantly be running:

  1. Unusually Cold Weather– Heat pumps work more gradually than a furnace. If the weather is extremely cold, the unit could need to run almost continuously to maintain the temperature you have set on your thermostat.
  2. Thermostat Issues– Check the program, calibration of the thermostat, and wiring for electrical issues.
  3. Broken Compressor Contractor– This component controls how much power goes to the heat pump. If it is damaged or broken, the heat pump could run all the time. You will need to call us to schedule an appointment with our team to evaluate this potential issue.
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