Due to their efficient heating and cooling capabilities and consequently reduced energy consumption, heat pumps are gaining popularity as a replacement for traditional heating appliances. For instance, an air-source heat pump can deliver 1.5 to 3 times as much heat energy to a home as it does electricity energy by transferring heat between the air within and outside of your home. Additionally, they are a popular investment for homeowners because of their energy and financial efficiency.

Heat pumps are practical and effective, but they are prone to deterioration just like any other machine. If a heat pump isn’t cooling or heating, there are several things you should check. You can quickly get your air conditioning up and running by using the excellent heat pump troubleshooting advice in this article.

1. Check The Thermostat

The thermostat settings should always be checked when a heat pump isn’t producing enough heat or cooling. You’ll probably receive cool air coming through the vent if you want it to heat up but it’s set to cool or the fan is running nonstop. If you want it to cool and you get warm air, the opposite occurs. The thermostat may really be the source of another issue with the heat pump.

If the units appear to be operational but you are unable to achieve the desired temperatures in your house, the thermostat may need to be calibrated. If you banged into it and the thermostat is no longer level, everything could become out of whack. This may result in the mercury vial it uses for temperatures being inaccurate. Inside the unit, dust and filth are another frequent culprit. In order to remove any dust or debris you notice on contact points, try removing the faceplate.

heat pump troubleshooting
Check the thermostat setting

2. Check The Power

Whether the heat pump is completely unresponsive, check to see if a circuit breaker hasn’t tripped. The heat pump units for indoors and outdoors should be on separate breakers. Try resetting the circuit breakers and turning the system back on if one or both of them have tripped. Call for assistance if the breaker trips once more. A separate power disconnect switch should be present on the outside heat pump as well. Usually, these are attached to the side of your house, close to the unit. Verify the fuse’s integrity and ensure the switch is turned to the “on” position. To solve the issues with your heat pumps, a professional should check the fuse if it has blown. The power switch for the indoor unit is typically located on the device itself. It should also be switched to the “on” position and resemble a light switch.

3. Check The Air Filter(s)

As air flows through an air filter, dust, allergies, and other particles are removed. They may restrict airflow if they become overly filthy or blocked. It can even cause your system to crash if things get too severe.

Filters can be found in the air handler cabinet of your interior heat pump unit or at the return-air registers in your house (or both). Throw them away and get new ones when they become dirty.

Check air filters at least once every three months to check if they need to be changed. Check your heat pump more frequently if you’re experiencing issues. Even when everything is functioning properly, a dirty air filter can significantly lower the system’s efficiency. You can save a lot of money on your energy bill by replacing a relatively cheap filter ($5–$10).

4. Check The Outdoor Unit

The system cannot transport heat through your system inside your home if your outdoor unit is frozen. Something is wrong if you notice frost or ice on the coils of the outside unit or on the copper tubing that links the unit to the house. It may be natural for there to be some building, but if you’re not getting the performance you require and you notice ice or frost, it’s time to bring in a professional. The unit may freeze due to clogged filters or blocked ducts, but it may also do so due to malfunctioning valves, worn-out fans or motors, insufficient refrigerant recharge, or other mechanical or electrical issues that call for heat pump troubleshooting by a professional.

A frozen unit can occur at any time of the year, even in the sweltering summer. Modern units include a built-in defrost mode to remove any frost or ice, but if it isn’t functioning properly, your machine may stop functioning effectively. Check to make sure your outside unit’s coils aren’t obstructed, filthy, or clogged even if there isn’t any freezing occurring. If the device has dirt or accumulation, you can clear it off or get rid of anything blocking the airflow.

Heat Pump Defrost
Notice frost or ice on the coils of the outside unit

5. Check Refrigerant Levels

Low refrigerant charge could be indicated by a frozen coil. Your heat pump won’t be able to provide the necessary heat or cooling if the refrigerant level is low. A leak is the most frequent source of this. A technician can identify the issue, fix any leaks, and, if required, recharge the system.

6. Check The Reversing Valve

Actually, what you should be doing is making sure the valve is operational. You can accomplish this by operating your heat pump in one mode—for example, heating—and then switching to cooling. The reversing valve, which turns the device from heating to cooling or vice versa, maybe the source of the heat pump troubles if it operates properly in one mode but not the other. Another task for a technician is this.

7. Check The Ductwork

You may have leaky air ducts if your heat pump appears to be operating but you’re not getting adequate airflow, warm air that isn’t warm, or cool air that isn’t chilly. You can check for air leakage along the seams of your ducts if you have access to them.

Check the heat pump ductwork
Check the heat pump ductwork

>> Read more: HVAC Ductwork

Most ducts are buried inside walls and ceilings, so you’ll need a contractor to trace the ducts and check for leaks. The further you are from the heat pump, the less energy is available as hot or cold air passes through your air ducts. A small amount of hot air will cool before reaching the vent. However, if the air is no longer heated, that can indicate a leak. Not only will leaks prevent you from getting the desired heating or cooling, but they might also increase your energy costs.

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