Common Heat Pump Issues

How to Fix Common Heat Pump Issues? Causes, Signs, and Solutions

Heat pumps are susceptible to problems over time, just like any other heating or cooling equipment. Even if this is not unusual, knowing what can be the cause of the issue will aid in getting it resolved.

We’re here to explain the most typical issues, how to recognize them, why they happen, and how to resolve them.

Your electric heat pump system’s problems can range from a straightforward tripped breaker to a more complex broken part. While some issues are simple to resolve on your own, many are better handled by a skilled professional.

Because of this, it’s critical to understand exactly what’s happening so that the appropriate steps may be done.

Most typical heat pump issues and What to Do about Them:

Inside water leak


The condensate drain becoming blocked is the main reason why water leaks from the indoor unit. If the drain is blocked, condensed water from the condenser will overflow, spill out of the air handler, and land on the ground below.


The ineffective cooling of your home, a malfunctioning air conditioner, higher energy costs, and, of course, water dripping from the unit, are all indications of a clogged condensate drain.


Fortunately, this issue is simply fixable (even without a technician)! Simply shut off the heat pump, remove the front cover, and use a cloth or dry vacuum to unclog the drain if you wish to attempt to fix it yourself. Pour a small amount of distilled white vinegar into the drain once it has been cleaned to help destroy algae and fungi and get rid of unwanted odors.

Outside water leak


There are a variety of reasons why there can be a water leak in your outside unit. A condensate pan that is cracked or damaged and is allowing water to leak out is one cause.

Another is an air filter that is clogged or unclean, which limits airflow to the evaporator coil. In this scenario, it’s possible for the coils to freeze and leak water into the condensate drain pipe.

Incorrect installation or a faulty AC seal are some additional causes of an outdoor water leak.


You’ll probably see a puddle of water right by the exterior condenser.


The heat pump should be turned off, and you should then make a service call. It’s best not to attempt to solve this one yourself because there are so many potential causes of the problem.

The heat pump not turning on


The thermostat may be the main reason why your heat pump won’t turn on. The heat or air conditioning may not be programmed to turn on at the appropriate time on your programmable thermostat. Even if everything is appropriately adjusted, the calibration could be off.

If that’s the case, there may be a problem with the thermostat’s connection to the heat pump or with how it’s interpreting the temperature.

A damaged reversing valve can also be the blame. The part that switches your heat pump between the cooling and heating modes is the reversing valve. For instance, if you want heat but it doesn’t turn on when you want cool air, this is probably the reason.

The electrical charge that turns on the motors is transmitted by the starting capacitor, which may potentially be harmed. If you hear a very faint “clicking” sound when the heat pump should be turned on, the starter capacitor is probably to blame.

The fourth main factor is a lack of power. A tripped breaker could occur as a result of a power outage, cutting off the electricity to your heat pump.


If you are not experiencing any cold or heat in your home, it is obvious that your heat pump is not operating.

But how can you tell if you have a particular problem, like a thermostat issue?

It might not turn on at all or it might not react to your changes. As an alternative, you can observe that the house has hot or cold patches where the temperature is uneven.


If any of these apply to why your heat pump won’t turn on, a professional should service it. The fundamental cause can be found and the required repairs can then be made by a skilled expert.

Improper cooling or heating causes

The thermostat may simply not be adjusted to the appropriate temperature if your system isn’t cooling or heating when you need it.

It can also be because of the system’s unclean parts. Too much buildup on the air filter may obstruct circulation to the compressor, which is what really heats the air in your home.

The system may also have trouble cooling effectively if other components are filthy.

Your heat pump outside blockage or dirtiness could also be a contributing issue. Air from the outdoors is brought inside by your heat pump. The heat pump may struggle to function if the airflow to your unit is obstructed by snow, ice, leaves, dirt, or any sort of debris.

A refrigerant charge that is too low makes it difficult for the system to generate adequate heat internally, which is another common cause (or the struggle to cool your home).

The next potential problem is a frozen evaporator coil. This could happen if your heat pump doesn’t get the necessary quantity of airflow because the evaporator coil has accumulated dust, filth, and grime, or because the air entrance is blocked.

Finally, as was already said, you might be dealing with a damaged reversing valve.


Your indoor unit(s) may have a dirty filter if the air coming out of them is lukewarm or if strange scents are present. If the air in the system isn’t hot enough or cold enough, the refrigerant level is low.

The reversing valve is likely damaged if your heat pump is cooling but the air coming out of your vents is hot.


Change the air filter or clean the exterior components if the filter has too much accumulation. Cleaning and replacing your filters annually is an essential aspect of maintaining your HVAC system in good working order.

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