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Heat Pump Troubleshooting and Repair Chart

Heat Pump Troubleshooting and Repair Chart

A heat pump is basically a central air conditioner that also provides heating by reversing itself and drawing heat from the outdoor air to the interior of the house (yes, even cold air contains heat energy). The maintenance needs of a heat pump are very similar to an air conditioner, but they have some special requirements of their own.

Troubleshooting Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps

If you have a heat pump and experiencing problems with it, consult this troubleshooting and repair chart to determine what the problem is and how to fix it. And since heat pumps are essentially air conditioners, you can use this chart to help you troubleshoot air conditioners problems as well.

Heat Pump Won’t Turn On

Possible Reason

Possible Solution

Problem with thermostat For heating, make sure thermostat is set to “heat” and a higher temperature than room temperature. For cooling, set thermostat to “cool” and a lower temperature than room temperature. Make sure the thermostat isn’t set to fan only. Contact professional HVAC technician if necessary.
Tripped breaker Make sure the breaker to your heat pump is turned on. Check the main electrical panel and any subpanels. The breaker may need to be reset.
Wiring problems If you notice any frayed or damaged wiring, you will need to replace the wire or cord. Turn off the unit and contact a professional as soon as possible.

Heat Pump is On But There’s No Heating

Possible Cause

Possible Solution

Dirty indoor coil Clean the coil; contact a professional to clean and tune-up the entire unit
Dirty filter Clean reusable filter or replace disposable filter (check air filter condition every 30 days)
Indoor fan problems Blower drive belt could be loose/slipping; contact professional to tighten belt, inspect and clean the fan
Leaking reversing valve Contact a professional for replacement
Leaking suction or discharge valves Contact a professional to replace valves or compressor
Noncondensables exist in the system Refrigerant and oil should be the only two liquids in your system. Contact a professional to investigate the causes of elevated discharge pressures before assuming it is a noncondensables problem. If noncondesables are trapped in the system, the technician will remove all old refrigerant, clean the piping, and replace with clean refrigerant.
Low on refrigerant If you are low on refrigerant, there is a leak somewhere in the system. Contact a professional to pinpoint and repair the leak, and recharge the refrigerant.

Frost On Evaporator (Indoor) Coil

Possible Cause

Possible Solution

Dirty filter Clean reusable filter or replace disposable filter (check air filter condition every 30 days)
Bent coil fins Straighten fin with special HVAC fin comb
Indoor fan problems Blower drive belt could be loose/slipping; contact professional to tighten belt, inspect and clean the fan
Faulty thermostat Consult thermostat owner’s manual, test thermostat, and replace if necessary
Coil is dirty and clogged Contact a professional for comprehensive cleaning.

Unit Is Leaking Liquid 

Possible Cause

Possible Solution

Air conditioner is tilted (window units only) Straighten the level of the unit and add supports to keep it from moving
Condensate drain line is clogged Inspect and clean the condensate drain hole and line
Condensate drain pan is clogged or damaged Clean out the drain pan/box and inspect for damage; contact a professional for replacement if necessary
Refrigerant leak If you suspect a refrigerant leak, contact a professional to pinpoint and repair the leak, and recharge the refrigerant
Bad check valves Contact a professional to check the piping and valves to determine is anything is leaking

Learn more about common winter heat pump problems and solutions. A good technician can troubleshoot the problem with your heat pump unit and make the repair quickly.

Schedule your heat pump maintenance, repair, or installation today! If you have any questions about heat pumps, don’t hesitate to contact Service Champions.

Heat Pump Troubleshooting and Repair Chart

A heat pump is basically a central air conditioner that also provides heating by reversing itself and drawing heat from the outdoor air to the interior of the house (yes, even cold air contains heat energy). The maintenance needs of a heat pump are very similar to an air conditioner, but they have some special requirements of their own.

Troubleshooting Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps

If you have a heat pump and experiencing problems with it, consult this troubleshooting and repair chart to determine what the problem is and how to fix it. And since heat pumps are essentially air conditioners, you can use this chart to help you troubleshoot air conditioners problems as well.

Heat Pump Won’t Turn On

Possible Reason

Possible Solution

Problem with thermostat For heating, make sure thermostat is set to “heat” and a higher temperature than room temperature. For cooling, set thermostat to “cool” and a lower temperature than room temperature. Make sure the thermostat isn’t set to fan only. Contact professional HVAC technician if necessary.
Tripped breaker Make sure the breaker to your heat pump is turned on. Check the main electrical panel and any subpanels. The breaker may need to be reset.
Wiring problems If you notice any frayed or damaged wiring, you will need to replace the wire or cord. Turn off the unit and contact a professional as soon as possible.

Heat Pump is On But There’s No Heating

Possible Cause

Possible Solution

Dirty indoor coil Clean the coil; contact a professional to clean and tune-up the entire unit
Dirty filter Clean reusable filter or replace disposable filter (check air filter condition every 30 days)
Indoor fan problems Blower drive belt could be loose/slipping; contact professional to tighten belt, inspect and clean the fan
Leaking reversing valve Contact a professional for replacement
Leaking suction or discharge valves Contact a professional to replace valves or compressor
Noncondensables exist in the system Refrigerant and oil should be the only two liquids in your system. Contact a professional to investigate the causes of elevated discharge pressures before assuming it is a noncondensables problem. If noncondesables are trapped in the system, the technician will remove all old refrigerant, clean the piping, and replace with clean refrigerant.
Low on refrigerant If you are low on refrigerant, there is a leak somewhere in the system. Contact a professional to pinpoint and repair the leak, and recharge the refrigerant.

Frost On Evaporator (Indoor) Coil

Possible Cause

Possible Solution

Dirty filter Clean reusable filter or replace disposable filter (check air filter condition every 30 days)
Bent coil fins Straighten fin with special HVAC fin comb
Indoor fan problems Blower drive belt could be loose/slipping; contact professional to tighten belt, inspect and clean the fan
Faulty thermostat Consult thermostat owner’s manual, test thermostat, and replace if necessary
Coil is dirty and clogged Contact a professional for comprehensive cleaning.

Unit Is Leaking Liquid 

Possible Cause

Possible Solution

Air conditioner is tilted (window units only) Straighten the level of the unit and add supports to keep it from moving
Condensate drain line is clogged Inspect and clean the condensate drain hole and line
Condensate drain pan is clogged or damaged Clean out the drain pan/box and inspect for damage; contact a professional for replacement if necessary
Refrigerant leak If you suspect a refrigerant leak, contact a professional to pinpoint and repair the leak, and recharge the refrigerant
Bad check valves Contact a professional to check the piping and valves to determine is anything is leaking

Learn more about common winter heat pump problems and solutions. A good technician can troubleshoot the problem with your heat pump unit and make the repair quickly.

Schedule your heat pump maintenance, repair, or installation today! If you have any questions about heat pumps, don’t hesitate to contact Service Champions.