4 Common Heat Pump Failure Causes

Heat pumps play a major role in heating many homes, especially in seasons with more extreme weather conditions. This is why it’s so important for them to be working correctly when you need them most. But it’s often during these pressing times that you’ll run into issues, such as heat pumps not turning on, blowing cold air when you need heat, or not cooling efficiently in the hotter months.

When you’re experiencing heat pump failures, finding out the cause is probably at the top of your to-do list. There are a wide variety of reasons why your heat pump could be failing, but there are also a few that are extremely common and probably resonate with your situation. Knowing some of the more frequent heat pump failure causes can prevent you from seriously damaging your unit.

More serious problems should be corrected with the help of HVAC professionals like Entek, but with a little preventative knowledge, you may even be able to correct your heat pump’s minor issue on your own.

Here are a few heat pump failure problems that people experience often.

  1. Clogged Air Filter

Air filters are one of the most important components of your heat pump, and knowing how to take care of them is one way to avoid any heat pump failures. The air filters in your unit are responsible for catching any dirt or debris that’s hanging in the air. This helps contribute to better overall air quality in your home. If you fail to change or clean your filters thoroughly and often enough, that dirt and debris will gather on your filter and prevent proper airflow to the unit. Dirty air filters can cause your unit to blow cold air when it should be heating and can also lead to increased energy bills. A newer heat pump that is working correctly has the potential to reduce the electricity used for heating by approximately 50 percent.

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Having good airflow within your unit is essential to it running properly. Without proper airflow, your unit will have to work harder to produce the same results and will eventually begin to experience technical failures.

Though it may be hard to notice at first, one of the symptoms of a clogged air filter is having issues with the temperature in your home. The heat pump will have a harder time properly heating or cooling as it should when this occurs, but it can be easily avoided. If you have a disposable air filter, be sure to throw it away and replace it within a reasonable amount of time. If you have a reusable air filter, you should be checking it often and cleaning it when needed.

  1. Thermostat Isn’t Set Correctly

Some heat pump failure causes have nothing to do with the heat pump itself and everything to do with the thermostat. A heat pump’s thermostat is the device that allows homeowners to control just how hot or cool it gets in the home. With a thermostat, you can control the exact temperature in specific rooms or areas, as well as have the temperature change during different times of the day.

When the temperature changes unexpectedly, it’s easy to think that your heat pump is broken, but it’s best to check out the thermostat first. If your thermostat is battery powered and the batteries have died, it can be the cause of the temperature change in your home. Or sometimes, someone bumps the thermostat, and you’ll see that it is set to a different temperature than the one you desire.

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Lastly, electrical problems could have caused your thermostat to turn off or restart, which would require you to reset it to your desired temperature preferences. A newer thermostat will alert you to any problems or changes and can even be connected to your mobile device, giving you access to your home’s thermostat when you aren’t there.

  1. Electrical Issues

Electrical issues can also be a common heat pump failure cause. Heat pumps require a significant amount of energy to run correctly, and all of this energy may cause your circuit breaker to trip over time. Circuit breakers can also trip when your area is experiencing severe weather, such as intense cold or icy conditions. When this happens, your heat pump will fail, but the cause has nothing to do with the heat pump itself. All aspects of the heat pump are often working correctly when a circuit breaker trips and will continue doing so once you reset the circuit breaker and restore power. This is usually as easy as flipping a switch.

Another electrical issue that may be occurring can be an issue with the starter capacitor. A broken heat pump starter capacitor can cause your unit to not turn on. If this is the cause of your problem, you’ll likely hear a faint clicking noise when your heat pump is attempting to start running. Because this part of your unit is responsible for transmitting an electrical charge, an issue with it is very likely the cause of your unit not working correctly or at all. Contact a local HVAC professional to further assess the problem.

  1. Failure to Keep Up With Maintenance

Just like a car needs to be serviced regularly, your heat pump should be looked at by a professional from time to time. Having regular maintenance performed on your unit can allow professionals to inspect your unit in a way that you cannot and to look for any potential issues. Professionals like Entek can detect minor or major issues in your unit and suggest repairs or solutions to help you correct or avoid further problems. Failing to do this on the schedule suggested by your local HVAC technicians can lead to inconvenient heat pump failures, such as dirty filters and coils, reduced airflow, as well as higher energy bills. It can also lead to more costly repairs down the line.

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Preventative maintenance is one of the best ways to avoid heat pump failures and their causes, which is why Entek offers a Planned Maintenance Program to its customers. This allows heat pump owners to leave the maintenance schedule to professionals. We’ll also keep track of warranties and equipment information. With this convenient service, heat pump failures can be a thing of the past.