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The A/C Guy of Tampa Bay Inc. Blog

Troubles With Heat Pumps Our Technicians Often Repair


A heat pump looks like an air conditioner, sounds like an air conditioner, has components like an air conditioner, and sends out cool air like an air conditioner. But it’s not an air conditioner, because it can also provide heating. It takes special components to allow a heat pump to perform this dual function, but those differences are vital for technicians to know so they can effectively service a malfunctioning heat pump.

We want to help you understand the heat pump that keeps your house comfortable. That means you’ll have a better idea of when to call an HVAC contractor in Clearwater, FL (i.e. us) to repair it when it isn’t working right. Here’s a list of heat pump problems we’re often called to fix.

The Heat Pump Won’t Change Modes

It’s not difficult to switch a heat pump from cooling to heating mode or heating to cooling mode. It only requires an adjustment on the thermostat. You can raise or lower the temperature to shift modes if the thermostat is set to “auto,” or you can change the setting to “cool only” or “heat only.” (We recommend not using the auto setting to prevent the heat pump from changing modes when it’s unnecessary.)

But if the heat pump won’t budge from its current mode, and you know it’s not an incorrectly set thermostat, that’s a problem. We recommend checking on the air filter to see if it’s clogged. If that doesn’t fix the issue, call for technicians. The heat pump may have a stuck reversing valve or the thermostat has lost its connection to the control board.

Either Mode Isn’t Powerful Enough for Comfort

The heat pump will change between heating and cooling modes, but it’s not good at either. The house stays too warm or too cool, even though you can feel conditioned air coming from the vents. Check the air filter and the thermostat (these two are often the source of problems), then give us a call. Many different malfunctions can account for a drop in cooling/heating power. It could be leaking refrigerant, which is a major problem that needs to be repaired ASAP. Other possibilities include leaky air ducts, dirty coils, and a bad blower motor.

The Heat Pump Won’t Stay Running Long Enough

This is called short-cycling. The heat pump won’t complete a full cooling or heating cycle, which normally lasts 15 minutes or more. If the heat pump shuts off after only ten minutes, then turns back on a short time later, it’s caught in the start-up cycle. There are also numerous sources for this (yes, the thermostat and a clogged filter could be at fault), and it takes professionals to diagnose it if you can’t find an easy explanation. Allowing short-cycling to continue will damage the heat pump, shorten its service life, and raise utility bills.

The Heat Pump Won’t Turn On at All

Is the thermostat okay? Air filter clean? Okay, now see if the circuit breaker for the heat pump tripped. Still won’t turn on? It may be an electrical failure, a burnt-out compressor motor or blower motor, or even another problem that requires a professional HVAC technician’s knowledge.

The A/C Guy of Tampa Bay Inc. is a family-owned and operated HVAC company serving the Tampa Bay Area. Call us to repair your heat pump, no matter the trouble.

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