With any new technology, there will always be bugs. Many companies are ramping up heat pump production, with more than 18 million US homes now using them and millions more to come! Well, this requires somewhat of a learning curve!
Luckily, heat pump maintenance and repairs aren’t too challenging. Let’s talk about some of the most common heat pump problems and how to fix them!
Not Blowing (Enough) Hot or Cold
This is easily the most common problem people encounter with heat pumps. You only need it to do two jobs, right? If one of those jobs isn’t happening, there could be several causes of this, including:
- Refrigerant leaks
- Water or debris obstruction
- Blocked outdoor unit
- Clogged or dirty air filters
- Leaking ducts
- Thermostat connectivity or wiring issue
The list goes on. Check the codes on your indoor mini-split and see if it displays any errors. If not, it could be an obstruction, which we will discuss how to fix.
Not Turning On
When a heat pump won’t turn on, it’s likely an electrical issue. This could include a plug or circuit connection issue, but it could also simply be a thermostat setting or something simple like that!
First, plug something else into the outlet to ensure that it’s working. From there, check your thermostat, ensure that the heat pump is plugged in, and play with the settings to see if something changes.
If the display screen or light is not turning on at all, it’s almost certainly electrical. However, if it’s turning on but not blowing anything, there could be other issues. Either way, we’d recommend calling a professional if the issue persists.
If your heat pump is making excessive noise, there are plenty of possible reasons. It could be an obstruction in the vent, a broken fan motor, a faulty compressor, or worn-out motor bearings. Fixing these could cost anywhere from 5 minutes of your time to $1,000, depending on the problem.
We’d recommend looking for obstructions first and calling a professional if the problem persists. If you hear a particularly concerning noise like grinding or squeaking, shut off the system and call as soon as you can!
Leaking or Odors
While these are less common than other problems on the list, heat pumps can potentially leak fluids or protrude odors. Typically, leaking is caused by a clogged drain line or a refrigerant leak. This will usually require professional assistance.
In most cases, odors are caused by mold growth or rodent infestation. Either way, your ducts will need to be inspected and likely cleaned or replaced to eliminate the odor.
How to Fix Your Common Heat Pump Problems
Now that you know some of the most common heat pump problems, it’s time to talk about heat pump repair. Here are some simple solutions to fix your heat pump issues!
Keep Up With Regular Maintenance
Sometimes, issues with your heat pump are a sign that you haven’t kept up with your regular heat pump maintenance plan. If that’s the case, go through the list and see if your heat pump works as designed afterward!
About 90% of American households use air conditioning. If you’re using your heat pump for cooling and heating, here are a few things to keep in mind year-round:
- Prevent plant growth from the outdoor unit (18 inches minimum)
- Keep outdoor coils clean
- Clean your filters
- Keep outdoor unit clear of debris
- Don’t set the cooling unit too low (the coil may freeze)
- Oil fan motors annually (if applicable)
If it works, continue to keep up with this maintenance throughout the year. Clean your filters every month, keep your outdoor unit clear of snow, and keep your shrubs clear!
Also, it’s best to have your heat pump system inspected by a professional at least once a year. This is especially true if you use it year-round for heating and cooling!
Ensure Proper Airflow
Even if you keep up with regular maintenance, anything can still obstruct your airflow. This is a very common cause of heat pump problems.
Especially after bad weather, heat pumps can become clogged. Check the outside condenser and see if there’s a buildup of debris, such as leaves or dirt. Remove any obstructions and test your system inside to see if that solves your problem.
On most models, the system can tell you when certain parts go wrong. Check the display menu and see if it’s reading any error codes, and check those codes in your user manual, or search them online with your make and model.
If it’s something simple, you might fix it yourself without any tools. Otherwise, you may need some help!
Call the Professionals
When in doubt, call it in. Heat pumps aren’t exactly the cheapest equipment, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. Contact your local HVAC services and ask them to check your system. Just make sure they have experience with heat pumps specifically!
Our York County, PA HVAC professional services have plenty of experience working with different models of heat pumps, and we can get the job done for you as soon as possible!
Stay Warm This Winter
Now that you know how to diagnose and address some of the most common heat pump problems put these tips to use today. With the winter rapidly approaching, it’s important to set yourself up for a cozy winter at home this year!
Stay up to date with our latest HVAC tips, and don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or for help with your heat pump repairs!