If your heat pump is not working in heating or cooling, try these tips and tricks before you call.
- Nothing happens
- Outside unit is not coming on
- Inside unit is not coming on
- Both outside and inside units come on, air conditioner not cooling
- When to call for service
1. Nothing Happens:
If you turn on your air conditioner and nothing happens, check these things:
- Circuit breaker: Check the circuit breaker. If it has tripped, flip it back on. If your heat pump comes on, all could be well. A power surge could have caused the breaker to trip. If the breaker trips again you should call for service.
- Thermostat – Cooling: Check the thermostat to be sure it is set properly, so that the heat pump will come on. The thermostat should be set to COOL instead of HEAT or OFF. With the thermostat set in the COOL position, the temperature setting needs to be lower than the room temperature. For example, if the room temperature is 20C and the thermostat is set to 22C, the heat pump system will not come on. If you have a programmable thermostat, be sure that the program settings do not conflict with the heat pump’s operation.
- Thermostat – Heating: Is the system in the “heat” position? The temperature should be set at least 3 degrees above the current room temperature. If your thermostat is electronic, make sure the batteries are fresh or charged and the display is showing
- Power or door switch: In most homes the emergency shut off switch looks just like a regular light switch and will be located on the side or near the electric air handler or gas furnace. Some electric air handlers or gas furnaces also have emergency cut out switches that are activated when a door or service panel is removed. Often the furnace door is not replaced properly after a filter cleaning and the cut out switch will prevent the furnace from coming on. Check to make sure all access doors are properly secured and fitted.
2. Outside unit is not coming on
If your heat pump is blowing warm air while in cooling you should check to see if the outside unit is coming on. If the outside unit is not coming on, check these things:
- Disconnect box: This is also known as an external safety switch. It allows the power to the outside unit (condenser) to be turned off, so it can be worked on. Be sure that the power is turned on to the unit. This is usually a box that is located on the wall of the house near the heat pump
- Thermostat wire: If you have pets or perhaps have been using a weed eater around the outdoor section of your heat pump, check the low voltage wire that is connected to the heat pump condensing unit to be sure it has not been cut or damaged.
3. Inside unit not coming on
If the inside unit (electric air handler or gas furnace) does not come on and the outside unit does, the problem is likely related to the blower motor. Be it a circuit board, capacitor or motor itself, most people will need to call for service.
4. Both outside and inside units come on, air conditioner is not cooling
If you turn on your heat pump to cooling and it is not cooling but both the outside and inside units are running, check the following:
- Filter: Has it been a while since you changed your filter? If so, you may have a clogged filter and could be the source of your problem. If you have a clogged or dirty filter the system will not be able to move enough cool air to satisfy the thermostat. It will run and run causing the coil to freeze which further restricts the air flow. If your filter is dirty, change it. You may not be able to get the system to work right away because there may be ice on the evaporator coil. Turm the fan from AUTO to ON as it will help the evaporator coil to thaw. After the system thaws, turn it back on. If the system refreezes, you have other issues. One of those issues could be a dirty evaporator coil which is caused by not changing your filters often enough. If you have pets or like to leave your fan in the ON position to circulate air your heat pump filter will need to be changed more often.
- Heat pump condenser: Check the outside condenser to see if there is any ice on it. If there is ice, be sure that you have checked your filter as suggested above. If you change your filters regularly you may have a refrigerant problem. If you have a refrigerant problem please call our office (250-758-0470) for service.
5. You should have your heat pump and furnace checked when you notice any of the following symptoms:
- Decreased air flow f rom registers
- Strange noises coming from the heat pump or furnace
- Moldy odors coming from the ductwork when the heat pump is in cooling
- The heat pump cycles on and off more frequently than it used to
- The breaker for the heat pump or furnace in the electrical panel keeps tripping (or fuse keeps blowing)
- Ice appears on your heat pump piping, either inside or outside the house
- Your outdoor fan on the heat pump won’t come on
If any of these symptoms sound familiar, call Nu-Star Heating & Cooling Ltd today to have your heat pump system checked and serviced to avoid bigger problems ahead.
Important – If your air conditioner is frozen, turn it off. The ice needs to melt before our technician can work on it. Go ahead and call for service but explain that the unit is frozen. Turn the system to OFF and the fan to ON to help melt the ice.
We hope that these tips can help you with your heat pump questions. Keeping your heat pump and furnace serviced and in good working condition can head off problems, extend the number of hears of safe and economical use, and save you thousands of dollars throughout the lifespan of the equipment.