Homeowner Articles Why is My Heat Pump Not Cooling

In the sweltering heat of the summer months, your heat pump is meant to be your salvation.

So when it only wants to start blowing hot air, it can feel like the end of the world.

Fear not! We’ll discuss common heat pump problems that can lead to a lack of cooling, as well as how you can perform heat pump troubleshooting to get it back up and running again.

So if you want to keep cool, read on!

Blog Table of Contents

Common Problems That Can Lead To A Heat Pump Not Cooling

❄️ Thermostat Problems

homeowner adjusting thermostat

One of the most common problems that can lead to a heat pump not cooling is issues with the thermostat.

The thermostat is responsible for signaling the heat pump system to turn on and off based on the desired temperature setting.

If the thermostat is malfunctioning or not calibrated correctly, it can lead to little warm air coming out, even with the heat pump running constantly.

🧰 The Solution

Fortunately, fixing thermostat issues that lead to a heat pump not cooling is typically an easy solution.

First, homeowners should ensure that the thermostat is set to the correct temperature for cooling.

Sometimes the problem can just be as simple as one of your family members getting a little chilly and turning off the cooling mode without telling you.

If the thermostat seems to be calibrated correctly, check for any loose or frayed wires. If the wires appear loose or damaged, they will need to be replaced.

Sometimes, simply cleaning the thermostat’s sensors can also resolve the issue.

Homeowners should ensure that the thermostat is located away from any heat sources, such as direct sunlight or lamps, as this can affect the thermostat’s ability to read the temperature accurately.

In more complex cases, a professional technician will need to diagnose and resolve the issue.

❄️ Refrigerant Leaks

refrigerant gauges

Another issue that can cause a heat pump not to cool properly is low refrigerant levels.

Refrigerant is the substance that helps cool air in the heat pump. If the refrigerant flow is low, the heat pump will not be able to absorb heat from the air and cool it down, leading to warm air blowing out of the vents.

A low refrigerant charge can be caused by leaks in the refrigerant lines. A refrigerant leak can occur due to normal wear and tear over time or due to improper installation or maintenance.

🧰 The Solution

Due to the technical nature of refrigerant and the potentially harmful effects it can have, you will need to have a qualified HVAC technician identify and fix the source of the leak in the refrigerant lines.

Once the source of the leak has been located and repaired, the technician will add the appropriate amount of refrigerant back into the system.

It’s important to note that adding too much or too little refrigerant can cause issues with the heat pump’s performance, so it’s crucial to have a trained professional handle this task.

❄️ Airflow Is Blocked

residential ductwork

In addition to issues with the thermostat or low refrigerant levels, blockages in airflow can also cause a heat pump to be unable to manage air.

When the airflow is blocked, the heat pump cannot effectively circulate the cool air it produces throughout the home.

This can cause warm air to blow out of the vents, even when the heat pump system is running in cooling mode.

Airflow blockages can occur due to a variety of reasons, such as dirty air filters, blocked air ducts, or closed vents.

🧰 The Solution

To fix blockages in the airflow of a heat pump, homeowners should first check their air filter.

Dirty air filters can significantly reduce the airflow in the system, leading to inefficient cooling. If you have a dirty air filter that hasn’t been changed for a while, it should be changed immediately.

Homeowners can also check their air ducts for blockages, such as debris or dust buildup. If unclearable blockages are found, an HVAC technician should be called in to review the problem.

Finally, ensuring that all vents in the home are open and unobstructed can also help improve airflow.

By keeping the system’s airflow channels clean and unobstructed, homeowners can help their heat pumps run efficiently and cool their homes more effectively.

❄️ Broken Components

broken components

The components of a heat pump, from the reversing valve and the evaporator coils, to the circuit breaker and the air handler, all play a crucial role in the cooling process.

If any of these components become damaged or malfunction, the heat pump won’t effectively produce cold air.

For example, if the compressor is faulty, it may not be able to properly compress the refrigerant, leading to a decrease in blowing cold air. Similarly, if the coils are dirty or damaged, they may not be able to efficiently transfer heat, making it difficult for the heat pump.

In some cases, issues with the fans, such as a malfunctioning motor or bent blades, can also cause the heat pump to stop cooling.

🧰 The Solution

Problems with the compressor, coils, or fans are all highly technical and will need to be thoroughly inspected and fixed by an industry professional.

This may involve disassembling either the indoor unit or the outdoor unit and inspecting each component individually to determine the cause of the problem.

If any components are found to be damaged or malfunctioning, the technician will need to replace or repair them as necessary.

In some cases, it may be more cost-effective to purchase a new heat pump rather than attempting to repair individual components.

If your system is more than 15 years old and regularly breaks down, this is a sign that you need to consider a new system.

❄️ Keeping Your Heat Pump Running Effectively

A variety of problems can lead to a heat pump not cooling. These include issues with the thermostat or low refrigerant levels, blockages in airflow due to clogged filters and blocked ducts, as well as broken components such as the compressor, coils, and fans.

To ensure your heat pump operates efficiently and effectively, it is important to schedule maintenance appointments with a professional HVAC technician regularly.

If you live in South Carolina and are looking for an experienced plumbing company that offers quality service at competitive prices, then look no further – Upstate Home Maintenance is here to help!

Whether you need your system fixed now or are considering purchasing, get in touch with us here, and we’ll help you get your home comfortable.

This article was written by Morgan Loch

Owner of Upstate Home Maintenance Services LLC and Local HVAC Guru

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