A heat pump is an essential home or office unit that provides heating, cooling, and in some cases, hot water to buildings.
A properly maintained heat pump runs more efficiently, offering you savings on energy bills.
With time, the heat pump is likely to undergo wear and tear, showing signs of poor performance.
By familiarizing yourself with the most common heat pump malfunctions, you can fix it yourself, save money or avoid regular breakdowns. Here are the most common heat pump problems and how to fix them.
1. A Frozen Heat Pump
It is normal for your heat pump to freeze if the cold weather conditions are too harsh.
Light frost is normal, but the coils or entire unit freezing over is not.
Extreme cases leave the heat pump frozen, causing the coils to collapse and potentially ruining the entire system.
If the defrost cycle fails to run on its own, switch it off to defrost the condenser unit.
Also, make sure none of the air vents are blocked and that the air filter is clean.
2. The Heat Pump Won’t Turn on
This could be a result of a thermostat or power issue. Make sure the pump is receiving power and the thermostat’s mode is correctly set.
If a replacement just took place and the pump is still not working, you need to check if its wiring is correct and that it matches the system.
If the power source is on and still not working, check to see if the fuse is the issue; if it has been tripped or blown, reset it or replace it, depending on the situation. Always be sure to switch off the power first as a safety precaution.
3. The heat pump not cooling or heating right
If the heat pump is not cooling or heating properly, check the thermostat settings first.
If its settings are correct, check your filters and ensure they are clean and free of dirt and other loose materials.
If none of these are the issue, check the thermostat wiring. Improper wiring can fry electrical circuits, making the heat pump malfunction.
Enlist a professional to work on rewiring the thermostat correctly so it can properly register the temperatures.
4. Strange Noises
If you hear noises from your pump, that means the vents are shut, or there are loose parts.
Do not neglect these noises, as early repairs can prevent your system from falling apart completely. Loose parts are easily fixable by tightening.
If the issue is the vents, make sure they are open and test again. Make sure the outdoor unit has no leaves or grass near it.
If your heat pump is still making funny noises even after fixing the above, you should call your heat pump expert to check further.
5. Running All the Time
Heat pumps are set to operate gradually and steadily, and it is a usual occurrence for them to run for extended periods or at a time when there is extreme weather, all the time.
However, if the heat pump unit is constantly sputtering, chugging, or fails to meet your home heating needs, it is time to call for service.
6. The Heating Pump Is Leaking
The heat pump works more or less the same way your HVAC system handles condensation and draining.
It has a drain line and pan that catches runoff water, diverting it outside your house.
If you are experiencing a leak inside the home, it is either that the drainage is clogged, the drain pan cracked, or some other mechanical complication with the pump. Call in the experts and have the heat pump serviced.
7. Trouble Switching From Heating to Cooling
Heat pumps are set to switch from heating to cooling without a hassle.
The reversing valve component in the valve pulls air in and out of your home, switching the pump from heating to cooling and vice versa.
When the pump has trouble cooling and heating, it is probably because the reversing valve has broken down, jammed, or the pump’s components are dirty. Call in a professional to repair or replace the valve.
8. Not Consulting Professionals
If you have tried the tips listed above but can’t determine the issue with your heat pump, always consult a professional.
Most of these heat pump fixes can easily be done at home, but if you’ve had the same heat pump for over 15 years and have to keep fixing it every now and then, it’s time for a new one.