The Short Answer Is: Common reasons for a heat pump to stop heating during winter include a tripped circuit breaker, a malfunctioning thermostat, issues with the defrost cycle, low refrigerant levels, or a faulty reversing valve. External factors such as extremely low outdoor temperatures can affect the heat pump's efficiency and performance. Professional heating service and annual maintenance are crucial to identify and address these issues for optimal heat pump functionality during the winter season.
As colder months approach, homeowners begin to rely on their heat pumps to keep their homes warm and cozy. However, if your heat pump isn't heating your home as it should, you may be left scratching your head wondering what is going on.
There could be several reasons why your heat pump isn't heating your home, and our heating service experts will discuss them in this blog post.
The first and foremost reason why your heat pump may not be heating your home is due to a faulty thermostat. When the thermostat fails to function as it should, it may not be sending signals to your heat pump to turn on and heat your home. In some cases, the thermostat may not be calibrated correctly, leading to it reading the wrong temperature and not activating the heat pump. A professional HVAC technician can diagnose and repair your thermostat accurately.
Using the wrong thermostat settings could lead to various issues that prevent your heat pump from properly heating your home and blowing warm air. For instance, setting the thermostat too low may not initiate the heating process, whereas setting it too high may result in inefficient overheating. Similarly, the heat pump may be blowing cold air instead of warm air if you have the thermostat setting for the fan set to ON instead of AUTO, which means heat pumps will blow cool or cold air in between heat mode cycles.
Another issue that could cause a heat pump not heating your home efficiently is dirty or clogged air filters in your indoor air handler unit. Your heat pump air filters play an essential role in keeping dirt, dust, and other debris out of your indoor air. A clogged air filter can cause reduced restrict airflow, reducing the amount of warm air that your heat pump can produce, so you're likely to feel cool air inside your home. Therefore, ensure that you clean or replace your heat pump filters frequently.
A frozen coil can be a major problem for your home's heating system, as it can prevent the heat pump from blowing hot air and circulating hot air throughout your home properly. When a coil gets frozen, it is unable to transfer heat effectively, which causes the heat pump's performance to decrease. This can lead to reduced heating efficiency, a decrease in the air flow and lowered levels of warmth inside the house.
One common reason for frozen coils is a dirty air filter, which restricts air flow and allows moisture to collect on the coil, causing it to freeze. Another reason may be refrigerant levels that are too low, which can cause the coil to ice up.
The outdoor unit of your heat pump plays a crucial role in the heating process. If the unit is broken or not even turning on, it may not be able to transfer heat properly, and your heat pump will struggle to heat your home effectively. Dirt, debris, or ice buildup can damage the outdoor unit and impact its functionality and cause the heat pump to blow cold air. Therefore, it's essential to keep the outdoor unit clean and free from debris. It is also important to schedule routine maintenance with an HVAC professional for your heat pump system.
The refrigerant in your heat pump is responsible for absorbing heat from the outdoor environment and transferring it inside. When there is a refrigerant leak, it means your heat pump cannot function optimally as there is not enough refrigerant to absorb heat. A leak in the refrigerant line will reduce the heat available to your home and cause your heat pump to work overtime, thus driving up energy costs. A professional HVAC technician can perform heat pump repair to fix the leak and recharge the refrigerant levels.
Your heat pump's reversing valve is responsible for switching the direction of refrigerant flow between heating and cooling mode. When it fails, your heat pump will not be able to heat your home correctly. The valve typically fails due to wear and tear or exposure to significant temperature fluctuations. A professional HVAC technician can diagnose and repair the reversing valve if it fails due to wear and tear or replace it if the damage is severe.
If you notice that your heat pump's outdoor unit is covered in ice or frost, a faulty defrost control board could be the culprit. The defrost control board's primary function is to turn off the outdoor fan when the heat pump enters defrost mode. If it fails, the fan will continue running, causing ice and snow to accumulate on the outdoor unit. The defrost control board may also fail to activate the heat pump in defrost mode, leading to a complete breakdown. A licensed HVAC technician can diagnose and repair the defrost control board.
When your circuit breaker trips, it means that there is an overload of electricity in your home's electrical system. This is a safety mechanism designed to prevent damage to your electrical devices and reduce the risk of electrical fires. Without adequate power, your heat pump may not be able to heat your home adequately. To fix this, you need to reset your circuit breaker by turning it off and then back on. If the circuit breaker continues to trip after resetting, it may be best to seek professional assistance from a qualified technician to ensure the safety of your home and HVAC system.
There are several reasons why your heat pump may not be heating your home. Thermostat malfunction, dirty filters, broken outdoor units, refrigerant leaks, faulty reversing valves, and faulty defrost control boards can all cause your heat pump to underperform. Regular maintenance, prompt repairs, and swift replacement of malfunctioning components can help you alleviate these problems and keep your heat pump operating efficiently.
To ensure that your heat pump runs smoothly, don’t hesitate to consult Williams Comfort Air when you have a heat pump not heating. Contact us today to schedule repair service on your heat pump system.