Heat pumps can double as a heating and a cooling system. Since these devices can perform two different tasks, there could be twice as many potential causes when they break down or stop working. In some instances, you can solve these heat pump issues on your own. However, more complex issues may require the assistance of an expert repair person.

Here are some of the common heat pump problems you might come across and how to troubleshoot them yourself at home:

Problem #1: Heat Pump Doesn’t Run



  • Check if the heat pump is receiving power.  Reset the power by turning the circuit breakers OFF and then flipping them back to ON immediately. If it doesn’t solve the problem, it is possible that there’s a short circuit in your electrical system so call an electrical expert.
  • Make sure that you set your thermostat properly. If it’s already set and the heat pump is still not working, have a Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning expert check if the thermostat is the right type for the pump.

Problem #2: Heat Pump Blowing Cold in Heat Mode



  • First, check if someone accidentally switched the unit to A/C mode. If yes, just put it back to heat mode.
  • If the heat pump is already in heat mode, check if a heavy coat of snow or ice is covering the outdoor unit. According to Absolute Air Conditioning & Refrigeration and other providers of heat pumps, it is normal that the outdoor unit has some ice on top of it during winter. But you shouldn’t allow it to build up on your unit. Heavy ice accumulation on the outer unit can both cause and be indicative damage to your unit. This is often due to a damaged outdoor fan, low refrigerant level, and serious defrosting issues. So, if this is the case, you will need to call your local HVAC expert right away.

Problem #3: Heat Pump Turns On and Off Frequently



  • This issue is likely a result of overheating due to a clogged filter. So, try cleaning the filter first. If it still doesn’t work, replace the filter.
  • If overheating is not the problem, check the location of the thermostat. Make sure that the thermostat is in a spot where there’s a proper sampling of air in the room.


Problem #4: Heat Pump Makes Grinding Noises



  • Shut off the unit and check if the cover panels are screwed tightly. If not, tighten them immediately.
  • If the heat pump still makes grinding noises after you tighten the cover panels, call an HVAC expert as the noises may be an indication of loose parts inside the air handler.

If the simple fixes didn’t solve the problem, call your local HVAC repair person right away. While it’s good to try troubleshooting some heat pump issues on your own, it is better to have a professional check your unit especially if it’s showing signs of more serious issues.

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