Common Heat Pump Problems and How to Fix Them

Come home to a comfortable house with a well-maintained heat pump, no matter the season. Heat pumps can warm up your home during chilly winters and provide cool air in the summer. Learn more about how they work, some of the most common problems they can have, and how to fix those problems.

If your heat pump isn’t cooling or heating your home, you can also contact our team at Energy Stars Heating & Cooling Co. for friendly and professional heat pump installation, repairs, and maintenance services. 

What Is a Heat Pump and How Does It Work?

Heat pumps are a type of air conditioning system that can provide either heating or cooling to a home by the simple transfer of heat from one space to another.  These systems are versatile, and they are very popular in regions that experience both hot summers and cold winters. Much like air conditioners, heat pumps can extract unwanted heat from the air inside a building and transfer it outside, resulting in cooler and more comfortable air during warm spells.

However, where heat pumps differ from air conditioners is that heat pumps can also do the reverse: they can extract heat from the air outside of a building and make a structure warmer. Heat pumps do this by sourcing heat and pumping or blowing it across a heat exchanger built into the pump. That heat makes liquid refrigerant in the system turn to gas and move into the interior compressor, increasing in both temperature and pressure.

That heated, pressurized gas crosses over the internal heat exchange surface, where it can be circulated throughout the home. Heat pumps can continue to cycle until the building’s air is comfortably at the temperature the thermostat is set at.

Most Common Heat Pump Problems (And What to Do About Them)

Heat pumps are efficient and environmentally friendlier systems that can provide both heating and cooling to homes that have them. However, they can develop problems and malfunctions over time, much like any mechanical device. Here are some of the most common problems homeowners might encounter and common solutions and heat pump repair options:

  • Constantly running heat pump: Heat pumps should operate through occasional cycles, especially once the set temperature has been reached. If your unit is constantly running, there may be a refrigerant leak, or your home’s air filters may be dirty. Constant cycling can also indicate electrical malfunctions.
  • No heat: Your home may not be getting warm air from your heat pump if it has a sizeable refrigerant leak, the thermostat is malfunctioning, or there’s a duct leak. Alternatively, the reversing valve may be broken if you only get cool air.
  • No cooling: Conversely, if your pump doesn’t provide cool air, it may have dirty coils and air filters, a leak, or a blockage around the external unit that’s preventing it from working.
  • Short cycling: Short cycles indicate that the system may be overheating or the pump may be the wrong size for your home (a problem to look out for during heat pump installation).

Some of these problems can be addressed through DIY maintenance, such as regularly replacing the air filters, cleaning the coils, and keeping the area around the exterior unit clear. Prompt heat pump repairs can also help you get in front of small malfunctions that become more expensive over time. However, some problems are due to having the wrong-sized heat pump in your home, and this can only be fixed with a new heat pump installation.

Contact Energy Stars Heating & Cooling Co. Your Heat Pump Experts

At Energy Stars Heating & Cooling Co., we’re committed to serving homeowners with prompt maintenance, repair, and heat pump installation services so you can have a comfortable home throughout the seasons. Call us today to learn more about different heating and cooling solutions or to schedule a prompt service appointment.

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