How to Troubleshoot a Heat Pump

How to Troubleshoot a Heat Pump

When your heat pump is not heating or cooling, there are several things you can do. Here is how to troubleshoot a heat pump when it is giving you trouble.

Check with the Usual Culprits

Sometimes, when the heat pump is not working properly, it is simply a matter of ensuring your system is working. It could be something as simple as the power is switched off, or it could be a larger issue like leaky ductwork.

Places to Check in Your Home

When heat pump issues arise, here are places you can look to size up the issue.

  • Thermostat
    The first thing to check when your heat pump is not heating or cooling is the thermostat settings. If it appears as if the thermostat is working, but you cannot get the proper temperature in your home, the thermostat might need to be recalibrated.

  • Air Filter
    Air filters remove dust, allergens, and other particles floating in the air. When the filters get too dirty or clogged, it limits the air filter's effectiveness. If it gets too bad, it can shut down the entire system. Check your air filters every month or two to make sure they are clean or if they need to be replaced. Replacing an air filter is inexpensive, but it can save you a lot of money on your energy bill.

  • Outdoor Unit
    Make sure your outdoor system is not frozen. If there is ice on the tubing that connects the unit to your home or the outdoor unit's coils, it could mean your filters or ductwork is clogged.

  • Ductwork
    If the heat pump appears to be working, but you are not getting enough airflow, the problem could be leaky air ducts.

  • Reversing Valve
    Check to see if the reversing valve works by turning the heat pump to one mode – like heating – and then switching it to the opposite mode. If it works on one mode but not the other, the problems could be in the reversing valve.

  • Refrigerant Levels
    A frozen coil could indicate low refrigerant levels. If the pump is low on refrigerant, it will not heat or cool effectively. The cause of low refrigerant is a leak.

  • The Power
    If the heat pump is not working, ensure the circuit breaker is operating. If either breaker for the outdoor unit or the indoor heat pump unit has tripped, try resetting the system. If the breaker goes down again, call a technician.

Fixing Your Heat Pump Problem with One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning

When your heat pump is not working properly, it can impact everything from your quality of life to the value of your home. It also can impact your bank account by sending your utility bills skyward. While there are some things you can do to remedy heat pump problems, a lot of issues should only be handled by a trained professional.


Get smart HVAC and energy efficiency tips from your local One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning. From seasonal maintenance to around-the-clock emergency repairs, we are always here to help. Request an appointment or call (423) 621-4060.