Using and Maintaining HVAC Systems in Rental Properties

Common Reasons Your Heat Pump Can't Keep Your House Warm

Your heat pump gets a lot of wear if you use it for both heating and air conditioning. That means parts might wear out due to age or other reasons. While you reduce the risk of a breakdown with regular maintenance, your heat pump might stop putting out enough warm air to keep you comfortable. Here are some reasons you could experience this heat pump problem and what a heating repair professional might do to fix your heater.

The Reversing Valve Isn't Working

A heat pump has a reversing valve that allows the equipment to switch between an air conditioner and heater. The valve also reverses during the defrost mode when warm air is needed outside to thaw frost on the lines. If the valve gets stuck and can't switch back to the heating mode, your house won't get any heat.

The heating repair technician may need to replace the reversing valve or one of the parts that controls the valve so the blower can put out warm air again. If your blower doesn't put out any air at all, there might be a different problem. However, if the blower puts out a strong stream of air, but it's cold rather than hot, a faulty reversing valve could be to blame.

Refrigerant Is Leaking

It may seem strange, but your heat pump uses refrigerant to move heat into your house. If the refrigerant is leaking, the heating process doesn't work as well. Also, if refrigerant is leaking, the risk of the outside coil freezing increases. If a refrigerant coil gets coated in ice, your heat pump might shut down.

The heating repair technician may need to start by melting the ice off of the heat pump so the parts can be examined. They can test the pressure of the refrigerant, and if it's too low, that means they need to hunt down the leak and repair it. If the leak isn't repaired, all the refrigerant will leak out eventually and your problem will get worse.

The Condenser Coil Is Dirty Or Blocked

The refrigerant lines and coils in your heat pump system should stay as clean as possible. If tree debris, lawn clippings, snow, or dirt coat the coil, the system can't work efficiently and you may notice a drop in the heating ability of your heat pump.

This is one reason heat pumps are often mounted on the side of your house, so they're elevated from the ground and can stay free of dirt and obstructions. If your heat pump is on a slab on the ground, you may need to check it frequently to make sure it stays clean during both the summer and winter.

A heating repair technician can clean the coil and refrigerant line if needed using a foaming coil cleaner that lifts away dirt and other debris so the coil is clean and the refrigerant can work optimally again.