A heat pump is a great heating and cooling option for homeowners in the southeastern part of the country. It provides comfortable temperatures in your home year-round, however without proper maintenance, malfunctions happen more often because the unit doesn’t get a break from one season to the next. Between heat pump maintenance calls, you might experience various issues with your system. Before you call for the help of an Estes Services professional, try these troubleshooting steps.
How do you reset your heat pump?
Issues with heat pumps range from minor to severe, but the more minor issues are often easily solved through some simple troubleshooting. Prior to calling us for repair, try these four steps to see if you are able to resolve the issue on your own:
1. Check thermostat settings
2. Check air filter
3. Check airflow
4. Check the exterior unit
Check Your Thermostat
A heat pump will continuously run while trying to reach a low temperature setting during a heat wave. Before you call for service, check the thermostat settings. It might be performing non-stop due to your thermostat sending incorrect information to your heating and cooling system.
The thermostat is the first place to start during heat pump troubleshooting. If your thermostat settings are correct, you might have a bigger problem on your hands. Call Estes Services to schedule service before the problem escalates.
In the winter, a system blowing cold air is potentially caused by improper settings. If the system is set to cool mode at the thermostat, you receive chilly air when you expect warmth. Look at the thermostat to verify system settings.
If the thermostat is set properly to heat mode, you need professional help. Valve problems, refrigerant charge issues or compressor malfunctions are the likely cause of your heat pump blowing cold air during the winter months. With the help of our skilled and knowledgeable technicians, Estes Services diagnose the problem and resolve the issue quickly.
It’s common for your system to run regularly during the winter. However, if the temperature is above the mid-30s and it’s still running continuously, there is a problem. Communication issues between the thermostat and heat pump or a malfunctioning thermostat are possible causes. The best way to deal with an overactive system in the winter when troubleshooting does not fix the problem is to call an HVAC expert. You could have a serious problem, such as a refrigerant leak, frozen outdoor unit or compressor issue.
Check Your Air Filter
Your heat pump cycles on and off throughout the day to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. If you notice your unit turns off and on too frequently, it may be a sign your heat pump is overheating because of a clogged filter. Always inspect your filter and replace it with a fresh one if you find it full of debris.
Check Home Airflow
Heat pumps require adequate air movement through the system to properly function. Blockages in the path of airflow restrict system performance. Dirty air filters are a common cause, as well as closed or blocked vents, collapsed ducts and buildup surrounding the exterior unit.
When troubleshooting for airflow issues, start with a filter check and change. Next, walk through your house and check all vents and return air grills. All vent louvers should be set open. Remove any furniture, carpeting or other items that sit over or in front of vents and grills to allow free air movement through your home.
Heat pump troubleshooting for collapsed ductwork is a bit trickier because ducts are often inaccessible. Visually inspect the ductwork you have access to in the attic, basement or crawlspace of the home. If you find downed sections of ductwork, call Estes Services and our technicians will perform the duct repairs you need. If you suspect a collapsed duct in a hidden area of your home, we are able to test the system to identify issues.
Blockages surrounding the exterior heat pump unit limit airflow and prevent the system from operating as expected. Inspect the outdoor unit. Remove any snow or other debris that may have built up surrounding the exterior cabinet.
Check the Exterior Unit
Your heating and air conditioning systems experience some degree of frost or even light ice forming on the outdoor unit during the winter. Your heat pump goes into a defrost mode every so often to remove the frost. However, if the entire unit is covered in snow and ice, the top of the unit has a heavy layer of ice or if the coils are surrounded by ice, you have a major problem.
When ice forms on your coils or unit, it prevents heat from transferring between the outside air and the refrigerant, hampering the operation of the heat pump. It also causes damage to fan blades and other critical components. Below are some Atlanta heat pump repair tips if your outdoor heating and cooling unit is frozen:
- Look for leaking gutters dripping water onto your unit and stop the leak.
- Gently remove ice from the unit, if possible. NEVER use a sharp object to chip away the ice, as you can damage the fan coils.
- Use water from a hose to melt ice buildup.
If the issue isn’t from a water leak, the problem may be more serious. Contact a licensed technician at Estes Services to have your heating and air conditioning system inspected. The defrost mode may not be working due to faulty relays, sensors or controls. It’s possible you have a failing fan or it’s completely dead and needs to be replaced.
If your heat pump is frozen during the summer, call Estes Services immediately! Summer icing is not normal and indicates a serious problem, such as a refrigerant leak, clogged filter or dirty coils.
Maintaining Your Heat Pump
The likelihood of needing repairs decreases with regular maintenance for your system. Heat pumps require professional maintenance twice per year: once for heating season, and once for cooling season. A tune-up performed by our NATE-certified technicians includes the following steps:
- Clean blower and indoor coil and check for obstructions
- Replace air filter
- Inspect ductwork for damage and obstructions
- Test and measure airflow volumes
- Test and verify refrigerant charge
- Examine system for refrigerant leaks
- Clean and tighten electrical connections
- Lubricate the fan motor and moving parts
- Inspect belts and replace if needed
- Test and verify electric controls
- Test and verify thermostat function
Heat pump tune ups improve system efficiency to lower home heating and cooling bills. A well-maintained unit uses 10 to 25 percent less energy than a heat pump that is neglected.
Homeowners need to keep tabs on their air filters throughout the year. Check filters monthly and change according to the manufacturer’s recommended interval or sooner if inspection shows you it is necessary.
Prevent airflow obstructions by keeping the exterior unit clear of debris. Trim away vegetation and remove yard waste that becomes stuck to the unit’s fins. If fins become bent, gently straighten them to improve airflow.
Call Estes Services for Heat Pump Help
When troubleshooting fails to get your system back up and running, call Estes Services for fast, reliable repair performed by NATE-certified technicians. Our team is ready to help restore a comfortable home for your family.
When you keep your heat pump well maintained, you reduce the likelihood of needing repairs throughout the year. Schedule your next tune up today – give us a call!