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Douglas Cooling & Heating Blog

Troubleshooting Cooling Issues – My Heat Pump Is Not Working

When a heat pump stops working it causes comfort concerns for homeowners throughout the Birmingham, Alabama area. If you depend on a heat pump for cooling once the weather warms up, learn how to troubleshoot minor issues and get your system back on track, fast!

Douglas Cooling & Heating shares troubleshooting steps to perform when your heat pump suddenly stops working. If heat pump troubleshooting does not solve the problem, give us a call!

1.  Check the Thermostat’s Power

The thermostat allows Birmingham homeowners to communicate their comfort needs to the heat pump. When heat pumps stop working, the first place to look is the thermostat. If there’s no power, it is unable to relay your comfort needs to the heat pump.

  • If the display is not on, this is a sign the thermostat does not have power.
  • For battery-powered units, replace old batteries with fresh ones to see if the power problem was simply caused by dead batteries.
  • For hardwired units, check your home’s electrical panel. The circuit breaker or fuse controlling power to the thermostat may need to be reset or replaced.

2. Check Unit Power 

If your thermostat appears to be powered, next check power to your other heat pump system components. These components have their own power switches and dedicated circuits.

  • Check the power switch located on or near the indoor air handler – it needs to be set to ON.
  • Check the power switch located on the outside unit or nearby on the exterior wall of your home where the refrigerant lines run inside – it also needs to be set to ON.
  • Check your home’s electrical panel to ensure the circuits controlling both the indoor and outdoor units are not disrupted by a tripped breaker or blown fuse. Reset or replace if necessary.

3. Check the Thermostat’s Fan Settings

Warm air coming from the vents inside your home could be caused by improper fan settings – there may not be a problem with your heat pump at all!

Check fan settings and make sure the switch on the thermostat that controls them is set to AUTO. It should not be set to ON, as this causes the system’s blower motor to continuously run, even between cooling cycles. With the AUTO setting, the fan only runs to assist a cooling cycle.

4. Adjust Thermostat Settings

Your thermostat only calls for your heat pump to cool if temperatures inside your home rise above the set point. If it feels like your heat pump isn’t working when it should be, adjust the thermostat’s set temperature down several degrees. If everything is working properly, this should trigger the heat pump to run a cooling cycle. 

5. Check Registers

Blocked registers often make it feel like the heat pump isn’t working because indoor living areas do not receive adequate cooling. Check all vents and registers throughout the home – they all need to be open and unblocked by rugs, furniture and other household items. Move items around and rearrange furniture to ensure rooms receive cool air from your heat pump.

6. Check Air Filter

A clogged air filter is a common cause behind a heat pump not working, as the system doesn’t receive adequate airflow due to this obstruction. The system often overheats and shuts down, leaving you without cooling. Or, not enough cooling makes it into your home due to the restriction.

Check your air filter – if its surface is full of debris, replace it with a fresh filter. Allow the system time to cool down and see if it restarts.

7. Call Douglas for Heat Pump Repair

If the troubleshooting steps above do not fix the heat pump, call Douglas Cooling & Heating to schedule heat pump service. Our technicians thoroughly evaluate your system to find the malfunction and make reliable repairs in order to restore comfort in your Birmingham home.

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