Why Isn’t My Heat Pump Heating?

When the fall temperatures start to dip overnight you may wonder ‘why isn’t my heat pump heating?’ Many homes throughout the Montgomery, AL area use heat pumps to stay warm during the late fall and winter seasons. 

If heat pump heating is out at your home, do you know what to do? Our heating pros explain the process heat pumps use to heat your home and what to do if you experience a lack of heat. We’ll also tell you when it’s time to call a professional HVAC contractor to assist with heat pump repairs.

First, How Does Heat Pump Heating Work?

During the warm months, homeowners use heat pumps for cooling. The process removes excess heat from inside the home and pumps it outdoors to lower indoor temperatures. 

In the winter, the process for heat pump heating operates in reverse. It extracts heat from the outdoor air and moves it indoors to raise temperatures inside your living areas. This is true of both air source and ground source, or geothermal, heat pumps.

The Montgomery winters are typically mild enough that there is plenty of heat within the outdoor air for sufficient heat pump heating inside. When temperatures dip too low (under about 40 degrees), the heating process is less efficient. Why? Because heat pumps lean on electric heat strips as an auxiliary heating source.

The electric heat strips are wire elements heated by electricity. When they turn on and produce heat, the air that flows over them picks up heat. Heat pumps use this auxiliary heating in combination with its usual heating process to deliver the warmth your home needs. Electric heat strips also serve as a backup heating method in the event of a heat pump malfunction.

HVAC technology, however, continues to advance and heat pumps become more efficient all the time. Geothermal heat pumps, of course, have always been more efficient than any other option. 

If you’re interested in upgrading to a newer heat pump with a greater efficiency rating, let us know! We’re happy to send someone to perform a personalized estimate for free. If you decide to install a new heat pump, we offer finance options.

Troubleshoot Heat Pump Heating

Now that you know how the heat pump heating process works, let’s talk about what to do when it doesn’t work. Sometimes, the problem is the result of an easily-resolved simple issue. Other times, you need a heat pump technician to correct the problem.

If your heat pump does not turn on at all, check the following:

  • Make sure your thermostat is set to heat mode, or else the heat pump isn’t signaled to produce heating.
  • Check the power source for the thermostat, heat pump, air handler, and electric heat strips. Tripped breakers or blown fuses may be to blame. Reset or replace as needed.
  • Look to see that the heat pump outside and the air handler inside are not turned off at the switch on its exterior. Turn to “on” if necessary.

If your heat pump is on but does not produce enough heat, check the following:

  • Inspect the air filter – if it is dirty, it blocks airflow so your home receives less heat. Remove the old filter and replace with a fresh one.
  • Make sure all registers and vents are open and uncovered throughout the home. Blocked or shut registers prevent heat from entering your rooms. In addition, closed rooms or vents disrupt the pressure balance in the home. This causes your heat pump to work harder and consume more energy. This costs you in higher electric bills and it prematurely ages your heat pump. You may need to replace it earlier.
  • Check the outdoor unit for blockages. Remove any debris around its exterior along with any ice buildup.
  • If air does not flow from vents, check the blower motor for a slipped belt. Turn the unit off, access the blower motor cabinet, replace the belt on the small motor pulley and then on the blower pulley as you carefully rotate it by hand. Next, turn the power back on.

For Heat Pump Heating Help, Call Hans Heating and Air

If you have a lack of heat pump heating in your Montgomery area home and troubleshooting doesn’t fix it, call Hans Heating and Air for quick and reliable heat pump repair. Our trained technicians inspect your system to find the source behind the heating issue, then make skilled repairs to restore heat across your entire home. We treat the cause, not the symptoms. 

Contact us now to schedule heating repair or tune up service.

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