5 Ways to Troubleshoot Your Heat Pump

January 24, 2018

Instead of generating heat, heat pumps move heat, so they can heat and cool for less money than a furnace or air conditioner. There are three main types of heat pumps: air-source heat pumps, split-ductless heat pumps and geothermal heat pumps (ground-source or water-source). Check this out to determine which one is right for your home.

An HVAC professional should install your heat pump, so they can determine the right size and the type of heat pump for your home. They will assess the correct size with an industry protocol called a Manual J calculation, that considers many factors, such as your home’s foundation, thickness of walls, windows, insulation and air filtration.

But what if your heat pump is not working properly? Here are five ways to troubleshoot, so you can get your heat pump working again for your home and family.

  1. Check the thermostat.
    Make sure the thermostat is turned on and set to heat. Then try adjusting the temperature, so it is two to four degrees above room temperature. If in cooling mode, adjust the temperature two to four degrees below room temperature.
  2. Turn the fan on.

    If the fan doesn’t turn on, check your fuses and breakers. You may need to replace the fuse or close the circuit breaker. 

  3. Check the wiring.
    If a fuse didn’t blow and the circuit breaker wasn’t tripped, then you may have old or worn-out heat pump wiring. The wiring will need to be repaired or the loose terminals tightened. You might also have a faulty thermostat or a stuck fan relay.
  4. Check the vents.
    If you feel cold air when the fan is running at the normal setting, set the thermostat at least five degrees above room temperature and then check the vents for warm air. The issue is the outdoor unit if you feel warm air, and if you don’t feel warm air, it could be a faulty thermostat or air handler.
  5. Check the outdoor unit.
    Make sure the thermostat is set to normal and wait a few minutes before examining the outdoor unit. Check the outdoor coil for ice or frost, which could mean you have a defective defrost timer or control module, or your unit needs more refrigerant. Also, be sure the unit’s airflow is clear of any debris, such as leaves, grass, sticks and weeds, which can restrict air flow. Finally, is the outdoor fan running? If not, it could be an issue with wiring, the fan motor or the compressor run capacitor.

For professional assistance, contact Keith Air Conditioning at 251-517-4437. We’re happy to address any of these issues for you, so your heat pump is good to go, and comfort is quickly restored in your home.

For more information on innovations that are improving heat pump performance, check out this article from the U.S. Department of Energy.