Home Improvements

How Do You Know If Your Heat Pump Is Bad?

Heat pumps have become a necessity in places where the weather is mild to cold. By installing these units, homeowners can save a considerable amount of heating costs. While furnaces produce warmth to heat your house, heat pumps help move the heat around the house. And since the unit operates quietly, you will hardly notice it working. As compared to heat furnaces, heat pumps are quiet and will also require attention from time to time. Consider the following signs and symptoms to know if you need heat pump repair. Let’s start!

Heat Pump Ices Up In Winter

During the winter season, when the snow is falling, a light coating of ice on the unit is a normal occurrence. As a result, the unit will shift into defrost mode to melt the ice. In some cases, there will be a thick coating of ice that will cover both the unit and the coils. Therefore, since it is an extreme case, the unit will shut itself off automatically to prevent damage to itself. The ice can damage the fan blades, fins, and compressor as well.

If you were to notice the heavy ice is being formed quickly, it means that the defrost mechanism is not working properly. It might be due to faulty sensors, relays, or controls. Furthermore, there could be a problem with the reverse mode that switches the unit from heating mode to AC mode. It could also be that the refrigerant level is low or the outdoor fan motor is not working. If the unit is not working or if the defrost mechanism is not melting the ice, you need to shut it off and call a professional for help.

Heat Pump Ices Up In Summer

A bad heat pump will ice up in summer as well. Therefore, it is nowhere normal. The presence of summer ice indicates that there is a problem with the unit itself rather than the defrosting mechanism. This problem is a result of refrigerant leaks, dirty coils, or a clogged air filter. In such a case, do not operate the heat pump as you may end up damaging it beyond repair.

Heat Pump Constantly Cycles On And Off

Short-cycling could be due to a faulty thermometer, faulty blower, or a clogged filter. This might cause the unit to overheat. If you observe that the indoor temperature differs from the thermostat setting, the anticipator of the thermostat’s heat might be causing the problem.

Blower Has Stopped Working

Check the thermostat’s fan switch. If it is turned to the “ON” position, turn it to “OFF” or “Auto”. If the blower fails to work, the limit switch might need some adjustment. The limit switch is located below the plenum, which is a part of the pump responsible for directing heat to all the air ducts. If the air inside the plenum gets too hot, the system will be turned off by the limit switch. If you observe that the motor is working while the blower is not, the belt connecting these two components might be broken.

The Unit Is Noisy

When the HVAC systems and heat pumps are about to go bad, they will make unusual noises such as squealing, buzzing or rattling, etc. In such a case, it is suggested that you turn off the unit. Such noises can indicate anything from a loose part to a broken belt that might need replacement.

Poor Heat Pump Performance And Bills Going Up

Heat pumps like many other house appliances require maintenance. If you are not providing your unit with yearly maintenance, not only will it perform poorly but cause the bills to go up as well.

Weak Airflow And Indoor Air Quality Problems

If the air filter of your heat pump is clogged or dirty, it will cause a whole lot of problems. You will face poor airflow along with poor indoor air quality. Therefore, maintain and check your air filter at least every 30 days.


A heat pump is the only thing keeping your house warmed up during the winters. If it displays any of the above signs, you need to get it checked. Make sure you call a professional heat pump repair service Arlington VA for the purpose.

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