Heat Pump Problems: Troubleshooting Guide

Are you having problems with your heating pump? This troubleshooting guide will help you through the process of diagnosing and repairing some of the common problems that can be associated with residential heat pumps. It is important to keep in mind that there can be issues with your heat pump that will need special attention. In this case, you should call your heat and air Tulsa experts.

First, it is important to perform regular routine maintenance on the unit to ensure that it is performing to its utmost capacity. The Oklahoma heat can take a toll on your heating system and cause many problems with the unit. Performing this maintenance will make troubleshooting easier. Once this maintenance has been performed, you can begin to troubleshoot the unit.

If on the “cool” setting, the troubleshooting process is very similar to that of diagnosing and fixing a ducted central air conditioning unit. If on “heat” mode, begin with the thermostat; set the heat above the current room temperature and switch the fan to the “on” position.

If the fan does not turn on, check the fuses and breakers to the furnace or air handler. If a fuse was blown or a breaker was tripped, the issue could be a bad wiring connection leading to issues with the motor or the control board. If the breaker was not tripped and the fuses are in working condition, then the problem could be with the thermostat, the fan relay or there could be low voltage wiring.

If the fan is running, switch the thermostat to the “emergency heat” setting and switch the temperature to at least five degrees above the current room temperature. Wait about one minute and then check to see if warm air is flowing through the vents. If there is, the issue could be with the outdoor unit. If there is not heat coming through the vents, the air handler or thermostat could be to blame.

If it turns out that the issue is with the outdoor unit, return the thermostat to the “on” position, wait a few minutes, and then proceed with troubleshooting the outdoor unit.

If there is an abundance of frost built up on the outdoor unit, the issue is with with the frost control or the unit is low on refrigerant. The defrost control and be tested by manually forcing the unit to defrost. Older units had a defrost timer that could be manually advantage to start defrosting. If you do this and the defrost cycle does not engage, the timer motor is likely the problem. Newer units have a defrost control board that have a set of pins that can be jumped to enter defrost mode. If it does not start after manual force, the control board is likely the issue.

Continue to check wiring problems, the motor, the run capacitor or the pressure cutout for other potential problems. Also, feel the refrigerant lines. If they are not warm, there is likely a wiring problem or it is low on refrigerant.

The final step is to run the unit through a normal cycle. After about 10 or 15 minutes, subtract the entering air temperature from the exiting air temperature to find the temperature rise. Generally, it should between 15 and 20 degrees.

If this guide does not help you to designate the problem, call your local heating and air Tulsa expert.


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