A heat pump problem can be a cause for despair, especially if it is your only option in terms of space heating and or cooling. Most times, people are quick to call a maintenance specialist to troubleshoot and fix the pump when they can handle a majority of the issues on their own.
That being said, it is important to familiarize yourself with the most common reasons a heat pump malfunctions. This way, you can be able to fix it yourself and save yourself some money in the long run. You can also learn how to maintain it to avoid regular breakdowns.
First things first, let us identify the most common problem one faces when the heat pump starts to malfunction before we can move on to heat pump troubleshooting. Here are the most common problems and how to fix them;
1. Heat Pump Does Not Run
This heat pump problem could be a result of a thermostat and power issue. Check if the thermostat needs an adjustment or if it is not working and it needs replacing. If a replacement just took place and the pump is still not working, the placement piece may be the wrong type and you’ll have to look into getting the correct spare part.
With regards to the power, check if the heat pump is receiving power. If the heat pump is not turning on, check if the power socket has been switched on. If the power source is on and it is still not working, check to see if the fuse in the heat pump has been tripped or blown.
If the fuse is the issue, reset it or replace it, depending on the situation. Be sure to switch off the power first as a safety precaution.
2. Does Not Heat or Cool Right
Firstly, make sure the thermostat is set to the temperature of your choice. If the heat pump is not heating properly after this, check to confirm the vent cover is open to allow air circulation. Adjust them to direct the airflow towards you or the side of the room that needs heating.
Check to see if your coils are working. In most cases, if the heat pump is not cooling, the issue could be a dirty coil or fan. Clean them up and see if it makes a difference. Also, check to see if the air duct or the air handler is blocked and unblock them.
You can also replace any of the pump’s auxiliary heating elements if they are beyond repair. Be sure to get parts that are suited to the make and model of your heat pump.
3. Heat Pump Blower Does Not Work Or It Freezes Up and Trips Breaker
The blower not working could be a result of a broken belt. Buy a new belt to ensure the connection between the motor and the pump blower functions correctly. Fixing a broken belt is nearly impossible and you are much better off getting a new one.
It is normal for your heat pump to freeze if the cold weather conditions are too harsh. If the defrost cycle fails to run on its own, switch it off so the condenser unit can defrost. Also, make sure none of the air vents are blocked and the air filter is clean.
4. Heat Pump Cycles Incorrectly
If the heat pump turns on and off frequently, then you could be facing a thermostat issue. Either the thermostat is not adjusted correctly, or it is malfunctioning. You can fix this by either recalibrating or replacing the thermostat.
In some cases, your heat pump might have a clogged filter that is preventing it from blowing air correctly. In this case, you should try to clean the air filter or replace it. Also, check to see if you have a defective fan or faulty valves that are preventing the heat pump from working properly.
Fixing these issues is pretty straight forward. Look up the instructions in the heat pump’s manual or look for a video tutorial for a heat pump model similar to yours.
5. Most Common Heat Pump Problem – Weird Noises
In this case, there are two types of noises. Rattling noises, which are indicative of loose parts within the heat pump. Or squeaky noises, which are an indication that something is wrong with the pump and you should call in your repair specialist to look at your heat pump.
For the rattling problem, this is easily fixable by tightening whatever loose parts are causing the heat pump to produce the unwarranted noises. Check to see if other loose parts need tightening.
Since a heat pump is typically made from metal, there will always be a noise coming from it as the metal heats and cools. You can reduce the noise though, by insulating it.
If you fail to fix the problem on your own, you can then call in a maintenance specialist. While there are cases where no amount of troubleshooting is going to help you, you will still be doing yourself a disservice if you do not give it a try before calling in a maintenance specialist.
The Bottom Line on Your Heat Pump
If you have had the same heat pump for over 15 years, then it is time to get a new one no matter how well maintained it is. You do not even need a heat pump specialist to tell you that, at times, your heat pump problem could be an indication that the device is on its last leg and it needs a replacement. A newer model will be more energy-efficient, easy to troubleshoot, and a breeze to operate.