If your heat pump isn’t heating your Fort Wayne, IN, home, your first thought may be to contact a heating and cooling company for help. However, if you know how to identify and troubleshoot common heat pump issues, you may be able to restore heating faster and save yourself the cost of a service call! In our most recent blog, the HVAC technicians at “Doc” Dancer Heating & Air share common heat pump problems and how to troubleshoot them.

Heat Pump Not Heating Due to Thermostat Setting

Sometimes, an incorrect thermostat setting can prevent a heat pump from providing adequate heat to your home!

  • Make sure your thermostat is set to HEAT mode. 
  • Set the temperature a few degrees higher than the current room temperature, which should trigger a heating cycle.

Heat Pump Doesn’t Have Power

If your heat pump doesn’t come on at all, check to see that all of the components have electricity coming to them.

  • Check your thermostat, and replace its batteries if needed. For hardwired thermostats, make sure the circuit breaker has not tripped. Reset it if needed.
  • Check the circuit breakers for your outdoor heat pump and indoor air handling equipment. Reset them if needed.
  • Check the on/off switches located on the indoor and outdoor equipment (these switches may also be located on a nearby wall). Make sure they are set to the ON position.

Dirty Air Filters

If your heat pump is running but it’s not providing enough heat for your home, a dirty HVAC filter may be restricting airflow into your rooms, causing the home to feel cold.

  • Check the air filter to see if it needs to be replaced. Hold the filter up to a light – if you cannot see any light shining through and the filter’s surface is covered in grey particles, it’s time to replace it.
  • Throw away the old filter and replace it with one of the exact same size. Be sure to insert the filter into the filter compartment in the correct direction.

Clogged Outdoor Heat Pump

Heat pumps heat homes by extracting heat from the outdoor air and moving it to the air inside. If your heat pump isn’t providing warm air, the outdoor unit may be blocked, which prevents heat transfer. You want to leave at least two feet of clear space surrounding your heat pump system so it receives ample airflow.

  • Gently brush away grass clippings, leaves, mulch bits, and other outdoor debris that have accumulated on the fins of the exterior heat pump.
  • Remove any vegetation growing up along the heat pump.
  • Trim back branches and shrubs in the immediate vicinity of your heat pump.
  • Remove any items stored up against your heat pump.
  • Remove drifting snow during heavy snow storms.

Heat Pump Ices Up

Ice that accumulates on your unit is a part of normal operation; however, it can also be to blame for a broken heat pump. The outside unit will run its own defrost cycle, but this may not remove heavy ice accumulation if the defrost cycle isn’t working properly.

  • Use water to melt away any ice that has formed on the heat pump or its coils. Do not use a sharp object to chip away ice as you could damage the coils.
  • Clear any debris that has blocked the unit.
  • Locate any sources that are causing heavy ice accumulation and remedy them, such as correcting gutter leaks above the unit.

Low Refrigerant Charge

A low refrigerant charge can also cause your heat pump to be less effective at providing heat to your home. Contact an HVAC technician to check the unit’s refrigerant charge.

When to Call for Help

Low refrigerant or component malfunctions can also cause a heat pump to stop working. If you have tried the troubleshooting steps and still have a heat pump that’s not heating, call “Doc” Dancer Heating & Air for heat pump repair in Fort Wayne, IN. Our NATE-certified heating and air conditioning professionals can handle all of your HVAC system’s repair, maintenance, and installation needs.