Your Heat Pump's Cranky? | Rinaldis

Your Heat Pump’s Cranky? Try Some Simple Troubleshooting Before You Call The Contractor

Jun 26, 2012

In Orlando’s mild climate, heat pumps pull double duty as both heaters and air conditioners. Unlike a conventional system with separate central air conditioner and furnace, some components get all four seasons of wear and tear. And without the seasonal downtime when a standard furnace or A/C gets maintenance checkups, unexplained symptoms may crop up. Heat pump technology is straightforward, but a few guidelines for troubleshooting problems — and knowing when to call an HVAC pro — may come in handy:
Insufficient Heating Or Cooling

  • Make sure the thermostat setting is correct.
  • Clean or replace the system air filter if it’s dirty.
  • If heat is insufficient, check the auxiliary heating elements for proper operation.
  • Clean the condenser coils outside.

Heat Pump Cycles On and Off Inconsistently

  • This is normally a symptom of insufficient airflow or thermostat malfunction.
  • Check the air filter and clean or replace.
  • Turn the thermostat further down if in cooling mode or up if in heating mode and observe the results.
  • If the thermostat exceeds the set temperature without activating the pump, call an HVAC technician.

Heat Pump Trips Circuit Breaker

  • Check to see if the condenser coil is covered with ice. If it is, turn off the unit until the ice melts.
  • While you’re waiting, look for any problems that restrict airflow and lead to ice accumulation. Check the filter and clean or replace if necessary.
  • If the breaker trips in heating mode only, the auxiliary heating elements may be drawing too much current. Call an HVAC technician for further service.

Blower Doesn’t Operate

  • Check the fan switch on the thermostat and turn it to “off” or “auto.”  If it is already at one of those settings, the limit switch may need adjustment.
  • Follow the steps to adjust the limit switch in your owner’s manual or consult an HVAC service technician.
  • If you can hear the blower motor running but the fan doesn’t turn, replace the fan belt or contact a service technician.

Since 1969, Rinaldi’s Air Conditioning has been the quality leader in central Florida. Contact us for more heat pump advice, or to schedule a service visit.

Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about heat pumps and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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