Atlanta’s relatively mild winters make a heat pump a great alternative to the traditional split heating and cooling systems. While there are advantages to heating and cooling your home with a single system, heat pumps, like any mechanical system, may occasionally experience some problems.
4 Common Heat Pump Problems & How to Troubleshoot Them
Some of the most common issues seen with heat pumps can be simple to diagnose. Here are some troubleshooting tips that can help you discover or rule out the source of the problem.
- No Heat. If you are not getting any heat, there are two things you can try before calling for heat pump repair.
- Check the thermostat. It’s possible that the temperature was accidentally set too low. If that’s the case, simply raise the temperature and see if the heat pump kicks in.
- Press the “Reset” button. Sometimes no heat is caused by a disruption to the power supply. Press the “Reset” button on the power supply. If that does not restore heat, the problem should be checked out by a heating and cooling professional.
- Insufficient Heating. This is when the heat pump is working but the indoor air temperature does not reach the temperature set on the thermostat. The cause can be due to a mechanical issue or to weather.
- Mechanical causes. A problem with a heat pump component or with the thermostat sensor can account for insufficient heating.
- Unusually cold weather. Heat pumps, unlike traditional gas or electric furnaces, produce heat by extracting thermal energy (aka heat) from the outside air. When outdoor temperatures are consistently below freezing for an extended period, there isn’t enough thermal energy to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature. You may need to use a supplemental heat source during cold spells.
- Excessive Noise. Heat pumps are generally designed to run very quietly. If yours is making odd noises, it could be because of something as simple as loose screws or nuts and bolts.
- Check for any obvious loose connections. Tighten screws or nuts and bolts only if you know for sure that you won’t cause your equipment or yourself any harm.
- Ask your HVAC contractor about their maintenance routine. You’ll want to verify that they inspect and tighten all connections and fittings during your annual heat pump maintenance.
- Frozen Heat Pump. Any number of things may cause a frosted or frozen heat pump, ranging from the very simple to the more serious. It’s always smart to look for the simplest explanations first.
- Check your air filter. Believe it or not, a dirty air filter is the most common cause of a frozen heat pump. A clogged filter restricts airflow, leading to moisture build-up and then to frosting. So, check and change your filter regularly.
- Check gutters for leaks or overflow. If it is contacting the outside unit of your heat pump, water dripping or overflowing from the gutter can also cause a heat pump to freeze. Be sure to keep gutters free of debris and watch for any signs of leaking.
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