Some Common Heat Pump Problems In Winter

Staying warm in the winter means knowing the best home heating tips and ensuring that your equipment is working properly. It’s also important to know what kind of equipment you have for heating your home, some residences rely on a furnace and some have a heat pump installed. Furnaces use natural gas as the main method for heating, while a heat pump works more like your air conditioner in that it uses air from the outdoors to convert into heat.

So when your heat pump isn’t working properly, you’re not just cold but you could be facing any number of issues that will need to be addressed in order to get the heat back on in your home. Since the heat pump brings in cold air from outside, it’s prone to certain malfunctions brought about by the temperatures of the outdoors.

While it may seem like you can fix these problems yourself, you may want to call your local heating repair bowie md to come out to have a look. Malfunctioning heat pumps could sustain damage that is easily avoidable as long as you tackle the problem head-on early.

The following are the most common heat pump problems that can occur in the winter. If your heat pump isn’t operating at the time you need it most, one of these conditions may be the culprit.


Heat pumps are designed with a self-defrost mechanism that works to melt the normal accumulation of ice that usually develops on the coils during normal operation. However, when it gets brutally cold outside and the frost and ice develop at a much faster rate, the whole unit can become covered. The same goes for the interior of the coils.

When this happens, the self-defrost cycle simply won’t be enough to eliminate all of that ice and your unit is in danger of becoming permanently damaged. That’s why you should never allow a substantial amount of ice to build up or you could be replacing the heat pump.

Cold Air Blowing In

When your heat pump is blowing cold air into the home you’ll notice it immediately. The reason this is happening could be due to a few possibilities. First give the thermostat a look and make sure it’s not set to “cool”. If that’s not the problem, you could be low on coolant. That might signal you have a leak in the system and you need to have that repaired quickly.

If neither of those are the problem, you may have a problem with the refrigerant line or the outdoor compressor. But you’ll need a professional technician to diagnose the issue.

The Unit Doesn’t Switch On

Your heat pump isn’t working at all. You may have tripped a circuit breaker or it might be a blown fuse. Check your box and see if they need to be reset. If so, that could be the extent of the issue and you should be able to get the unit working again.

But if it’s not a circuit or a fuse, you will need to have a heating repair professional take a look at the unit to find out why it won’t turn on.

Poor Drainage

When your heat pump is draining properly that can lead to the unit freezing over. That will certainly interfere with your ability to keep your home warm. Take a look to see if you can find any evidence of leaks or drips, if you notice these you have a drainage problem.

For heat pumps to drain correctly they must be placed on a flat and sturdy surface that is high enough from the ground so as not to become buried in the snow and open enough that rain can’t accumulate and freeze the unit in a block of ice.

You will also want to be sure you change the filters with regularity as well as they can also cause a unit to drain poorly.

Coil Blockage

When your coils become blocked you putting undue stress on your heat pump. That forces it to work much harder and longer than normal. A coil blockage can also reduce the amount of airflow through the system which could lead to moisture building up around the coils and freezing.

Heat pumps operate through airflow so when that becomes impeded it reduces the efficacy and efficiency of the unit. After awhile, the unit could burn itself out causing serious damage. So be careful about the airflow coming through your heat pump and be sure to keep the coils free and clear of any obstructions.

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