Troubleshooting Heat Pump Cooling Problems
It’s understandable to assume that a heat pump is only capable of heating your home, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Having a heat pump is an ideal way to keep your house at a comfortable temperature all year long. In the winter, the pump is absorbing heat from outside no matter how cold it may be and creating the perfectly cozy winter night. In the summer, the pump is grabbing that hot air from inside your house, moving it outside, and creating a cool retreat from the sun’s harsh rays. A heat pump is a wonderfully diverse unit to have. So when you start to experience heat pump cooling problems, it may feel like you’ve lost your chilly summer escape.
There can be a number of things causing this issue with your heat pump. One of the many positive aspects of a heat pump is that there are a few ways to troubleshoot a problem on your own. It could be as simple as resetting your unit or unclogging the filter. Knowing how to fix small problems can prevent an even bigger problem from occurring down the road.
At Entek, we want you to have the best experience with your HVAC systems. Along with giving quick and easy fixes to make sure your heat pump is cooling correctly, we’ll also let you know what could be happening to make that problem occur. So here are a few ways to troubleshoot your heat pump cooling problems.
Check the Thermostat
Sometimes, fixing your malfunctioning heat pump is as simple as taking a second look at your thermostat. Before you panic that your heat pump is broken, make sure all of the switches are set to the correct settings. Times like these are why it’s a good idea to never throw away your owner’s manual. For cooling, make sure that the control Is set to “cool” and also make sure the temperature is set lower than the room temperature. Sometimes instead of saying the word “cool,” the thermostat will display a snowflake that signifies it’s on the cooling setting.
Another issue could be that the batteries in the thermostat have died. Usually, the thermostat will give you a warning that the batteries are starting to run low. A battery symbol will usually be the indicator that this is occurring. If you approach your thermostat and the screen is blank, that means that the battery has already died, and the thermostat is no longer controlling your heat pump. Simply replace the old batteries with new ones, and your thermostat should be back in working order.
Often, people are so flustered by the possibility of losing their relief from the heat that they overlook this simple step. Don’t jump the gun and forget to check the thermostat first and foremost. It could save you a lot of unnecessary stress and be a quick and easy fix!
Check Your Filter
Often, when a heat pump cooling problem arises, it has something to do with what’s going on inside of the heat pump. The filter is a popular source for problems like a heat pump not cooling correctly. The heat pump’s filter is a crucial part of the cooling process, and if it’s overcome by debris, it can impede the airflow of your unit. The filter must be clean and inserted properly for the pump to work correctly.
There are a few different kinds of filters you can purchase for your heat pump, but for the most part, the decision is between a disposable filter or a reusable one. If your filter is reusable, know that it still requires frequent maintenance. Make sure to check it once every 30 days to ensure there is no clogging and then clean it. When washing your reusable filter, make sure to let it dry completely before inserting it back into the unit. Putting a damp filter into the heat pump can encourage bacteria growth that can decrease air quality in your home.
If you’re using disposable filters, be mindful of their expiration dates and change them accordingly. Though creating more waste, a disposable filter is equally, if not more, efficient at filtering out pollutants. Regardless of which type of filter you use, keeping it well maintained is important and can prevent an issue with cooling from ever occurring.
To save on costs, try switching to a reusable filter. Though more expensive to begin with, reusable filters can last for years and actually end up saving you money in the long run. A helpful tip for remembering when to change or clean your filter is to write the date you last did it on the filter itself or to write the date you need to perform maintenance on your calendar.
Check for Refrigerant Leaks
Refrigerant is an imperative component of your heat pump. It’s responsible for absorbing the heat from one area and transporting it to another. Heat pump cooling problems are likely to occur if there isn’t a sufficient amount of refrigerant due to a leak. As the refrigerant levels drop, condensation may occur on the evaporator coil. If it gets too cold, the condensation will freeze and cause your heat pump to not cool properly. If you think that a refrigerant leak is a possibility, it’s time to call a professional. Working with refrigerant should be left to trained experts who will handle the problem safely, whatever the cause is.
There you have it! These possible ways to troubleshoot heat pump cooling problems can save you a lot of time and get your house back to the cool temperature you need it to be. Still, sometimes a quick fix won’t solve your heat pump cooling problem. If you go through these troubleshooting options and are still having issues, it’s best to get in contact with a professional. An HVAC specialist can repair and help maintain many issues with heat pumps. Services that you may be uncomfortable with or incapable of doing are what professionals like us at Entek have been perfecting for over 70 years!