A heat pump not heating enough is an odd problem because you will notice that it’s blowing warm or lukewarm air, but your house won’t become as warm as you want. So, you have to apply some heat pump repair knowledge to fix this problem. Here’s how to do it.
Fixes For A Heat Pump Not Heating Enough
Check The Outside Temperature
This is not a tip for fixing your heat pump, but for understanding how and when it works. Before you jump to the conclusion that your heat pump has a problem, there may be an external factor causing your heat pump to heat insufficiently – the freezing temperature outside.
Let us explain! Heat pumps and furnaces are HVAC systems that heat your home, but they are not completely alike when it comes to operating effectively at extremely low temperatures.
In simpler terms, heat pumps work by absorbing heat from the outside and pushing it inside to warm a house. At temperatures above 40 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature outside is chilly, but there is still some heat that heat pumps can absorb and work effectively.
However, when the temperature drops below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, the effectiveness of the heat pumps also starts dropping with each degree Fahrenheit. So, if the temperature in your region goes below this range, then you will be unhappy with your heat pump.
Therefore, heat pumps are good for people living in states where the winter is mild like Arizona, California, Florida, Nevada, Alabama, Virginia, and the like. However, even in some of these states, the temperature sometimes drops below 40 Fahrenheit and then heat pumps become a bit ineffective.
So, the solution is to install an HVAC system that includes both a heat pump and a furnace fueled by gas, oil, or electricity. Whenever the temperature becomes too cold for the heat pump, you will have a furnace to keep you warm.
Keep reading if your outside temperature is above 40 degrees Fahrenheit but your heat pump is not heating enough.
Make Sure The Heat Pump’s Size Is Right For Your House
A heat pump smaller for your house will not warm the indoors enough. So, checking the size of the heat pump and determining which size heat pump you need is critical when buying one.
There are different ways of calculating the size of the heat pump required for your house, but to avoid mistakes, it’s better to have an expert check your heat pump and your house to determine which size is right for you.
As your heat pump is already installed and not heating enough, you can look for these hints apart from insufficient heating:
- The heat pump either never shuts off or cycles too often
- Inconsistent temperatures throughout the house
- High energy bills
- High indoor humidity levels
- Breaks down often
Check Your Thermostat
This time you should check your thermostat because it might be causing the fuss. Check its settings. Are they correct? You can correct them if you or someone else unintentionally changed them.
In some cases, you set the correct temperature, but the thermostat doesn’t convey that properly to the heat pump. It can be due to drained batteries, dust on the thermostat, or a faulty thermostat.
So, replace the batteries to check your thermostat. Then, clean it gently by removing its cover. If it still doesn’t work, then get an expert to have a look at it because it may be faulty.
Clean The Air Filters
Air filters are the most common culprit of heating or cooling problems in heat pumps. They keep contaminants, dust, and debris out of the house and as they do this, they become dirty.
When they become clogged with dirt, they restrict the airflow to the HVAC unit. Ultimately, this also blocks the flow of heated air into your house. As the airflow is reduced, the heating becomes insufficient. Your heat pump won’t reach the set temperature and it will keep running for long.
To remedy this problem, you have to clean the air filters based on your usage frequency of the heat pump. It will increase the airflow inside your house and also ensure cleaner air to breathe indoors.
Air filters can be disposable or washable so check your air filters and perform the action required to get clean air filters.
Inspect The Air Ducts
This causes a similar problem caused by dirty air ducts. Dust and debris in the ductwork will reduce the airflow which will reduce the warm air entering your house.
The severity of the clog influences the performance of your heat pump. If the clog doesn’t stop a lot of air, your heat pump will throw warm air, but not quite enough. Hence, insufficient heating. However, if the clog is severe, you may notice little to no airflow. This means unnoticeable or no heating.
However, air ducts don’t require cleaning as frequently as air filters. Air ducts should be cleaned once every 3-5 years whereas you must clean air filters once every 1-3 months.
Moreover, air ducts leakage can also directly impact the heating of your heat pump. So, have it inspected as well.
Check The Outdoor Unit For Obstructions
Another clog of a different nature! The outdoor unit is responsible for absorbing heat from the air that’s chilly to you. This is why it’s installed where there is nothing too close to it in any direction.
However, debris and leaves may block the outdoor unit. This will reduce the ability of the unit to draw air from the outside so the performance of the heat pump will suffer.
Sometimes, nothing is visibly clogging the outdoor unit, but dust and dirt on the coils impact its performance negatively.
In any case, you have to clean your outdoor unit. First, remove the obstructions you can see, and then clean the unit with soapy water and a microfiber cloth.
Remove Ice From The Outdoor Unit
Due to the snow or a fault with the defrosting cycle of the heat pump, the outdoor unit can ice up. This also makes it difficult for the outdoor unit to function properly. This condition is more dangerous than an obstruction, because outdoor units freeze inside out, mostly. This can damage its fan and the coils.
One reason for a frozen outdoor unit is snowfall. There are other reasons for an iced-up outdoor unit as well. They are: constantly turning up the temperature for better heating, faulty defrost cycle of the heat unit, and low refrigerant levels.
You can remove snow from it, but if the ice is due to any other reason, consult a professional.
Inspect The Reversing Valve
Most heat pumps have the functionality to heat in winter and cool in summer. A reversing valve is the component that makes this possible. It allows the heat pump to shift from cooling to heating and vice versa.
Most commonly, a malfunctioning reversing valve is detected when you can’t switch to the heating or cooling mode. However, a lesser-known sign of a faulty reversing valve is diminishing heating or cooling. So, get an expert to check your heat pump’s reversing valve.
A heat pump’s insufficient heating can be due to various reasons. You will need to find the cause. So, take help from the above-mentioned tips, and if the problem is difficult to find or repair, hire heat pump repair services McLean.