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Common Heat Pump Problems & Solutions

If you’re living in Northern USA, chances are you have a heat pump for when it gets cold. Generally, heat pumps are mechanical or electrical devices that transfer heat from one area to another. Since they work by transferring already existing heat energy instead of generating it, they tend to be the more energy-efficient heating and cooling solution.


Heat Pumps

In cold temperatures, the pump will extract the little heat energy outside and transfer it inside. It reverses the process when it’s warm, extracting warm air from the house and dumping it outside. Since heat pumps are powered by electricity and transfer heat instead of generating it, heat pumps are more reliable. 

Heat pumps are known to have a technical issue or two. Basic troubleshooting once every while will enable you to catch potential issues before they become more serious and nip them in the bud. And while plenty of folks know enough to deal with some issues, the best thing to do would be to contact a Vadnais Heights heating contractor to inspect the system. The following are some common heat pump problems and possible solutions.

common heat pump problems and solutions - McQuillan Bros St Paul

Heat Pump Problem: No Warm Air

If you notice that your heat pump is not running and there is no warm air being pumped into the house, don’t panic. The system is most likely not receiving power. Check the circuit breaker to see if it has tripped. If it has, reset it to fix the power supply problem. If that’s not the issue, check if the thermostat is set to the correct setting and make sure it is set to heat, and the heat pump is on. 

You may also be dealing with improper wiring in the thermostat, which ends up frying the electrical components within. This is usually common with new thermostats, but the technician may have made a mistake while wiring it in some cases. Additionally, the thermostat may not be the right model for your heat pump. If none of these fixes apply or some of the wires are frayed, you will have to call a Vadnais Heights HVAC company for a professional assessment.

Heat Pump Problem: The Heat Pump is Constantly Running

If the weather is cold enough, the heat pump may have to run continuously to keep the interior suitably warm. The same may happen during the summer as the heat pump struggles to keep the interior cool. However, if it is relatively warm outside and the heat pump is still running non-stop, there may be an issue. Placerville heating experts, Gilmore Heating & Air, suggest that it may be caused by a dirty coil, which prevents the unit from releasing heat. 

Additionally, grime and dirt may corrode the metal coils and create holes that leak refrigerant. Thus, the unit won’t be able to cool efficiently and will run constantly. You may also have a poorly insulated space that loses too much heat or a frozen outdoor unit. Reach out to a Vadnais Heights HVAC contractor to figure out what’s wrong.

Heat Pump Problem: Insufficient Heating 

In this case, the heat pump is up and running, but the air coming out of the vents is cool. This may be caused by built-up dirt or some other obstruction blocking the airflow, preventing the heat pump from transferring heat into the house. A dirty air filter will also reduce the airflow.

You can avoid that by changing the air filter once every three months or even more frequently, depending on your usage. If you can, check the filter every month and change it if it’s even slightly dirty. Inspect and clean the supply and return registers, fan, and outdoor coils for dirt as well. Additionally, clear any clutter and dirt away from your outdoor unit and ensure the indoor unit isn’t blocked.

Heat Check Twin Cities MN

Heat Pump Problem: The Heat Pump is Blowing Cold Air

Cold air is definitely welcome during the scorching hot days of summer and any other unseasonably warm day. However, if the heat pump is blowing out cold air when it shouldn’t, there may be an issue with the refrigerant charge, compressor, or valve. It may also be that someone switched it to A/C mode or has detected frost and is pumping hot air to the outdoor unit to thaw it out.

If the heat pump is defrosting, you can just wait until it’s done. This usually takes 10-15 minutes. The interior components like coils could be dirty. This can make the system run less efficiently, or there may be dirt or obstructions preventing proper airflow. If that’s not it, try setting the thermostat to emergency heat. If the system warms up after that, the issue may be with the outside unit. If not, the issue probably lies with the thermostat or air handler. 

As you can see, these common heat pump problems can be a challenge. Reaching out to a Vadnais Heights heating and cooling expert will help you figure out what’s wrong with your heat pump and fix it. Are you experiencing any of the described heat pump problems? Don’t let minor issues become expensive headaches down the line. Contact McQuillan Bros today for a complimentary consultation.

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