Solving Heat Pump Issues: A Comprehensive Guide

by | Sep 27, 2022 | Heating and Cooling

Key Takeaways

Troubleshooting a non-heating heat pump:
  • Check Settings: Verify the thermostat is set correctly for heating.
  • Inspect Filters: Clean or replace clogged air filters to ensure airflow.
  • Examine Outdoor Unit: Remove debris and ice that may block the unit.
  • Professional Assessment: Seek expert evaluation for refrigerant issues or system malfunctions.
Check out InMotion Mechanical’s heat pump repair service.

Heat pumps are well known for having high-efficiency ratings. Additionally, a heat pump system with proper care can survive for more than ten years.

If a heat pump receives the specialized care and upkeep it requires each season, it should continue functioning effectively. But without a thorough inspection, that rating can significantly decline.

For example, it’s time to start looking into your HVAC system if you notice that it takes a while to get to the setting you set on the thermostat. Because a heat pump can operate effectively even when you are not at ease with the set temperature inside your home, it can be challenging to tell if it is functioning correctly.

The following heat pump troubleshooting techniques might help you decide if it’s necessary to call your neighborhood HVAC professional for an expert touch.

Frozen Outdoor Unit

Your system cannot bring heat from the outdoors into your home if your external unit is frozen. To confirm this, go out and look for any buildup on the coil of the outside unit. It can also be any ice or frost on the copper tubing connecting the unit to the house.

While some frost accumulation on heat pumps is expected, an excessive amount of ice accumulation on your outdoor unit is a problem that needs to be addressed right away. Once the ice is already too thick, a qualified HVAC specialist can most effectively fix a frozen exterior coil.

Defective Reversing Valve

Heat pumps can be both cool and hot. However, you may have a defective reversing valve if your heat pump isn’t heating but is operating in cooling mode. This can make it difficult to operate your heat pump and even lead to more severe issues.

A qualified HVAC specialist will need to validate this and replace the valve.

Defective Thermostat

If a thermostat is accidentally bumped or has dirt accumulation inside, it may get out of calibration. The thermostat may then be a few degrees off when this occurs.

You may either recalibrate the thermostat yourself using the manual’s directions, or you can hire a nearby HVAC company to do it for you.

Tripped Circuit Breaker

It’s possible that your heat pump isn’t heating your home because of an electrical problem or a lack of power. First, make sure no breakers have been turned off by inspecting your electrical panel.

Look to see whether one or both of the breakers for the indoor and outside units have been tripped somehow. 

If the breakers keep tripping, see an electrician or HVAC specialist to verify the wiring is secure and operating correctly.

Filthy Air Filter

Air filters naturally get replaced at least once per quarter or several times a year. Since most homeowners change air filters on their own, this doesn’t become a recurring issue. However, the system may shut down or stop the airflow in more challenging situations. For example, a dirty or clogged air filter may result in reduced airflow.


Remember to maintain your heat pump. Any HVAC specialist can tell you how vital routine maintenance and yearly tune-ups are required. 

However, the benefits of heat pump maintenance are what matter most in the end. Doing so helps you avoid replacing your current heat pump by performing routine maintenance.

InMotion Mechanical provides advanced heating and cooling in Truckee and Lake Tahoe. Our services include expert installation as well as maintenance and repair for hydronic and HVAC systems. Call us whenever you need help with your heat pump!