HALLOWEEN SPECIAL! Book your services this Sat & Sun and receive no additional weekend fees!

How to Troubleshoot a Heat Pump

CM Heating - How To Troubleshoot a Heat Pump

If your home air conditioner system is dependent on a heat pump system, then you already know how important its proper function is to achieve the proper heating and cooling temperatures in your home. Like any mechanical system, heat pump systems can encounter issues that disrupt their efficiency. Any seemingly minor problem can alter the reliability of your heat pump significantly. Troubleshooting these problems can easily save you from the discomfort and potentially costly repairs. In this blog, we will walk you through the steps to troubleshooting a heat pump effectively.

1. Check the Thermostat Settings

Thermostat settings are one of the first things to inspect when your heat pump is not performing to your standards. The heat pump operates based on what the thermostat signals it to do, whether it needs to work in a heat mode or produce cold air for the home. Take a look at your thermostat to ensure that it is set to the desired temperature and mode.

  • If you want it to heat your home, make sure that it is set to the heating mode.
  • If you need it to cool your home, make sure it’s set to cooling mode.

Sometimes, the simplest issues, like dead batteries in a thermostat, can quickly lead to discomfort in the home. Make sure that your thermostat has fresh batteries, which may help improve the function of your heat pump.

2. Verify Power Supply and Electrical Connections

A malfunctioning heat pump may result from an electrical problem like a malfunction in the home’s electrical panel. 

Here’s what you can do to troubleshoot these heat pump problems:

  • Begin by checking the power supply to the unit.
  • Ensure that it is receiving power, and if not, inspect the circuit breaker.
  • You will know that the circuit breaker is tripped if you noticed that the knob for the heat pump is set in the middle of the on-and-off settings.
  • Reset the circuit breaker if necessary and observe the unit’s operation.

If the circuit breaker appears to be fine, you can also examine the electrical connections for any loose wires or damage. Faulty connections can lead to in efficient performance, poor heat or cool air production, or even complete system failure. When the heat pump stops working due to an electrical problem, both heating and cooling options may suffer. 

3. Inspect and Clean Dirty Air Filters

A clogged or dirty air filter can significantly impact the efficiency of your heat pump. We recommend that you inspect the filters regularly, at least every 4 to 6 weeks, to ensure they are clean. Take the time to clean or replace those dirty air filters as needed to ensure proper airflow through the system.

Clogged air filters lead to restricted airflow and a defective fan motor, which causes the system to work harder and consume more heat energy than necessary. They also stop the slow air coming to cool or heat indoors, as the heat pump is designed to do. Clean air filters will contribute to better air quality and prevent unnecessary strain on the heat pump.

4. Check Refrigerant Levels to Restore Cool Air

When you find the heat pump not working, you can check another critical aspect of your heat pump’s operation: the refrigerant fluid levels. Low refrigerant levels can result in insufficient heating or cooling. Low refrigerant fluid levels are often the result of a refrigerant leak or poor installation. 

Here’s how you can tell that you have a refrigerant leak in your heat pumps:

  • Puddles of fluids around the condensing unit or air handler
  • Frozen coil in the air conditioner
  • Increased energy bills
  • The heat pump is not cooling properly 
  • No airflow coming through the vents
  • Power switch issues 
  • Blown blower motor 
  • Issues with the starter capacitor

If you suspect a refrigerant issue, you will need to contact a professional HVAC technician to inspect the source of any leaks and repair the problem. We do not recommend DIY repairs for refrigerant issues because refrigerant fluid is highly toxic and requires specialized training and equipment for handling it. Proper refrigerant flow is fundamental to efficient heating and cooling. 

5. Inspect and Clean the Heat Pump Coils

Another great way to troubleshoot heat pump problems is to check the coils. The coils in your heat pump play a vital role in the heat exchange process. The heat pump works best when the indoor and outdoor coils are clean and in their best condition. Over time, these coils can accumulate dirt and debris, reducing efficiency. Inspect both the evaporator and condenser coils regularly and clean them as needed.

Ensure that the outdoor unit is free from obstruction, such as leaves or debris, as this leads to the heat pump not heating or producing the necessary cold air for the home. Cleaning the coils will enhance the heat transfer process, allowing your heat pump to operate at optimal levels. It will also prevent common heat pump problems like a blown blower motor, poor efficiency, and strain on the compressor of the air conditioner. 

Call CM Heating for Prompt Heat Pump Repair Near Me

While many troubleshooting steps can be performed by homeowners, some issues may require the expertise of a professional HVAC technician to have your heat pump serviced. If you tried the troubleshooting steps outlined above with no success, don’t panic! Contact CM Heating for a professional and efficient heat pump repair service today. With our team of experts, your heat pump troubleshooting attempts will be a distant memory and those problems will be resolved in just a matter of time.

CM Heating Areas

Based in Everett, CM Heating proudly serves Snohomish County, WA, North King County WA, and Skagit County, WA

Communities We Serve

CM Heating Areas