Talking About Air Ventilation Systems

Heat Pump Problems: Can You Fix It Yourself?

In the winter, the inside of your home should be kept at a comfortable temperature so you and your family can stay warm. If you've noticed that it seems as though your heat pump just can't keep up, this could be the result of a number of different problems. A heat pump is designed to constantly push heat into your home until the thermostat reaches a preset temperature. But in extremely cold circumstances, your heat pump might have a difficult time keeping up with the demand.

Why it Happens

Heat pumps that have trouble keeping up with the demand in extremely cold temperatures is not uncommon. A typical reason for this is because once temperatures dip down to a certain level, the pump begins to lose some of its efficiency. Once this happens, it cannot compensate for the loss of heat inside your home. If the room temperature drops to about two degrees lower than you have the thermostat set, the supplemental heating element kicks in to help the heat pump function work correctly. Sometimes, this can overwork the system and result in various problems. There also other common issues that can be remedied by yourself or a technician.

What You Can Do

Some issues with your heat pump are simple fixes you may not be aware of. You can often remedy the situation yourself. These can be a result of:

  • Drafty or open doors and windows
  • Ice has accumulated on the outdoor unit
  • Heavy snow has created drifts that have built up around the outdoor unit
  • The outdoor unit is not running as a result of an electrical issue, or the breaker needs to be reset

More severe or complicated problems may require the help of a professional HVAC equipment repair specialist. These problems can include:

  • Your thermostat is not calibrated properly, not level, or it is not wired correctly
  • The unit is running low on refrigerant and needs to be refilled
  • The reversal valve has become worn out or gone bad and needs to be replaced
  • The pump itself needs replacing
  • Your compressor is no longer running, which means no warm air can be pushed through the unit and into your home
  • The coils and other elements are not running efficiently because they are dirty and need to be cleaned

If you've attempted to remedy the heat pump issues yourself and have not seen positive results, it may be time to contact a repair company to assist you. Remember that making any significant changes to the unit yourself can void the warranty, so it's always a good idea to have an HVAC specialist come and take a look. For more information, visit sites like