Wintertime Troubleshooting for Your Heat Pump

Heat pump systems offer high-efficiency heating and cooling for your home. During the cold winter weather, your heat pump draws heat from the air or the ground outside your home, transferring it indoors to create a more comfortable environment. Regardless of whether your heat pump is your main source of heat or part of a hybrid heating system, it’s important to maintain and check on your heat pump regularly to catch issues that could affect its performance. If you think your heat pump is having trouble operating as it should, contacting your Detroit HVAC service promptly for help will reduce strain on your heating system and prevent breakdowns that affect the comfort of your living spaces.

Heat Pump Won’t Activate

When your heat pump won’t activate, it could be a problem with either your thermostat or your electrical system. First, check that your thermostat is set to heat and that your temperature set point is at least two degrees above the current temperature reading in your home. You can also try setting your thermostat to run the fan, rather than leaving it in auto mode. If none of these solutions work, check your circuit breaker to make sure the heat pump is receiving power. A heat pump that still won’t activate or consistently trips your circuit breaker should be evaluated by an HVAC professional for thermostat problems or electrical issues.

Continually-Running Heat Pump

On the opposite end of the spectrum from a heat pump that won’t activate is a heat pump that runs continuously. Regardless of the temperature outside, your heat pump should never run continually without stopping over the course of the day. When this occurs, it’s important to check that your thermostat hasn’t been set unreasonably high and that it is set to heat, rather than cool. If your thermostat is properly set, check to make sure the heat pump hasn’t iced over, which could also affect its function and cause it to run continuously. Heat pumps that appear normal but won’t stop running could have a refrigerant leak or a compressor issue causing this behavior; you’ll need to call in your HVAC technician to evaluate the system and perform any necessary repairs.

Iced-Over Heat Pump

Some ice or frost buildup on your heat pump during the winter is normal. Periodically, your heat pump will undergo a defrosting cycle to remove surface ice from the unit and ensure proper airflow. However, after heavy storms or very cold weather, your heat pump may be covered in a thicker layer of snow or ice that the defrosting cycle cannot address. Leaving your heat pump covered in ice or snow can affect the appliance’s performance, as well as leave it at higher risk for damage such as a broken fan blade or motor. If your heat pump is covered in ice, turn the unit off and remove the ice manually—avoid using any sharp objects, as this could damage the appliance. However, if you cannot clean your heat pump thoroughly or your heat pump continues to develop severe icing problems, it’s time to call in an HVAC technician for help. Issues such as low refrigerant levels, failing fan motors, and a damaged defrost control or timer can all cause ice buildup that will damage the heat pump if not properly addressed.

When you need help with your HVAC system, our Detroit heating and cooling experts have the experience and tools to ensure your home is comfortable, efficient, and safe. You can find out more about our services when you visit us online, or check out our blog for more home comfort tips.

Categories: Heat Pump

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