Same-Day Free In-Home Estimate & Systems as Low as $60/month! Read More

Skip navigation

Douglas Cooling & Heating Blog

Heat Pump Problems? Check These Things First


An average homeowner is not an HVAC expert. And there’s no need to be. Everyone specializes; no one is an expert at everything. But that means that when something goes wrong—say, for example, your heat pump isn’t working—you’ll need to call in someone who is qualified to repair it.

Or will you?

It would be a shame to wait for a technician if the problem was so simple that you could remedy it yourself. But, since you’re not an expert, how would you know?

Follow this handy checklist if you’re having heat pump problems. You just might discover that you don’t need a repair technician after all.

1) Is There Power?

When a heat pump stops working, you’ll be able to tell right away if there’s a house-wide power outage. And if not? It’s possible that the circuit breaker has been tripped. This can happen if something that draws a lot of power, like a vacuum cleaner, was plugged into the same circuit as the heat pump.

Go to your electrical panel and check the circuit breakers. If one of them is out of position, flip it back! Perhaps this is a one-time issue, as long as you plug the vacuum in somewhere else. But if the heat pump keeps tripping the circuit breaker, there’s an electrical problem that requires an HVAC expert.

2) Was the Thermostat Setting Changed?

Perhaps your heat pump is ready to run and is simply awaiting the signal from the thermostat. But that signal isn’t coming! Why? It could be that there’s an actual problem with the thermostat which requires repair or recalibration. But it might be that nothing is wrong at all.

It’s easy to accidentally change a heat pump’s setting from “cool” to “heat” or “off” or unintentionally activate the wrong thermostat programming. Make sure everything is set correctly. It’s also possible for some thermostats to send faulty signals as their batteries are dying, so change the batteries before you decide you need heat pump repair.

3) Is the Air Filter Clogged?

If the heat pump is trying to come on but shutting down again almost immediately, it is short-cycling. There are many possible causes, but one of them is a very easy thing to check. If the air filter is dirty, it will prevent airflow. The motor will start to overheat. The emergency shutdown will be triggered. The motor will cool, the thermostat will turn the heat pump on, and the cycle will repeat.

Your heat pump’s air filter should be cleaned every month during the stretches of summer and winter when it’s in heaviest use. In between, when it’s used less often, the filter should still be cleaned, but every two or three months will usually suffice.

4) Is the Outdoor Unit Dirty?

If the heat pump is running but not cooling your home enough, try cleaning the outdoor unit. Anything that interferes with air circulation there will stop the heat from dispersing properly, so the refrigerant will still be too warm when it flows back into your home. Rake away mess, wash away dirt with a gentle hose, and trim back plant life to maximize airflow.

5) Time for an Expert

If you’ve tried all these steps for a quick and easy heat pump fix in Pelham, AL and you’re still having problems, it’s time for a qualified technician to take a look. Don’t delay! Get that problem fixed today. 

“Your experience is what matters most!” Contact Douglas Cooling & Heating today for help with all your heat pump needs.

Comments are closed.