No Heat from Heat Pump

Arlington, TX – When the cold weather sits in there is nothing like kicking back, relaxing, and enjoying the cozy warmth inside your home. That is until it does not. If your heating has been running for awhile and the area is not warming up, then that poses that there is a problem with your heat. Understanding a little bit about how a heat pump operates will help you troubleshoot the basics. In learning, you may be able to fix the problem yourself. Since a good bit of heating problems are due to things that a homeowner can usually easily do on their own.

How does a Heat Pump Work?

There are different types of heat pumps. However, to keep things straightforward forward we will discuss air-source heat pump systems. These types of heat pumps can not only heat the home, but they also can cool it. An air-source system will come with an outdoor unit, an indoor unit, and a thermostat. Here’s how it all works when it is in heating mode:

  1. The outdoor unit will separate the heat from outdoor air and bring it indoors.
  2. The heat traverses through copper tubing to the indoor unit’s coil.
  3. A blower fan that is in the indoor unit will pull air through this cool.
  4. The fan then circulates the heated air through the home.

When the heat pump’s thermostat is set in cool mode, the reversing valve that is in the outdoor unit will turn on. Therefore, the process is reversed. Heat pumps when cooling operates much like a standard central air conditioning unit.

What to do When No Heat from Heat Pump

Below we have composed a list of answers that the question, “Why is there no heat from my heat pump?”. Some of the answers provide straightforward solutions that most homeowners can do on their own. Others that are more complicated will require a professional heating and air technician to resolve.

Wrong Thermostat Settings

If the heat pump is producing cool air when it should be proving warm air you should the thermostat first to ensure it is set to heat. If it is not and is set to cool or constant fan, then this will explain why it is distributing cool/cold air. To address this problem, simply adjust the settings on the thermostat to warm or auto warm and this should resolve the problem.

Faulty Thermostat

Another common problem could be a faulty thermostat. If that is the case the thermostat will need to be replaced. However, it could possibly be a calibration error. To determine if this is the case, check and see If the temperature setting is off. If so, to address this, you will need to re-calibrate the thermostat. You can do so by following the instruction or user manual that will have come with the thermostat.

Flipped Breaker

A flipped breaker or blown fuse in your fuse box may be the case if the heat pump is not operating at all. The outdoor unit for the heat pump should be on its own high voltage breaker. The indoor unit will be on a separate breaker from the outdoor unit. Inspect both to make sure that the breaker(s) have not tripped. If one or the other is flipped, then just follow the standard safety precautions, and reset the breaker. However, if you experience repeated tripping, then you will need to get in touch with a professional HVAC company to service the system.

Outdoor Unit Disconnection

A heat pump’s outdoor unit has a dedicated power disconnect switch. It is usually located near the outdoor unit on the outside of the home. Locate it and inspect it to ensure it is switched on. If it is then the use inside of the box possibly may have blown.

Indoor Unit Switch

The indoor unit also has a power switch. This switch is usually found on the indoor air handler unit inside of the home. The switch will look like a typical light switch, and it should be switched on.

Clogged Filter

Air filters, in most cases, should be changed monthly. If this has been neglected, then an air filter will become dirty and clogged with particulates which will lead to reduced airflow. Eventually, if the filter is not changed it will become completely clogged and will cause the system to shut down or worse break down. The air filter will be located near the indoor unit. Inspect it and replace it if it has been more than a month or looks dirty.

Duct Problems

The ductwork that has become loose, or damaged, allowing air to escape will cripple the efficiency and comfort in an indoor space. If you are experiencing no airflow or weak airflow then you may have loose, or damaged ductwork. Detecting whether you have leaking ductwork can be challenging. If you expect so, it is better to have an HVAC technician inspect your ductwork.

Frozen Coils, Outdoor Unit

Another common issue that can arise is with the outdoor coils freezing over. When this happens, a system will not be able to transfer the heat from the outdoor air into the home. To test if this is the case you will need to check the outdoor unit and look for ice on the copper tubing and/or the coil. If this is the case, then it is a task that is best suited for a professional HVAC technician.

Low Refrigerant

If the heat pump is leaking refrigerant, then it will not be able to provide adequate heating or cooling. Also, If the coils are frozen over, this is another sign that the system is low on refrigerant. If you see this, then get in touch with a professional heating and cooling service company to repair the leak.

Failing Reversing Valve

If your heat pump is not able to heat the home but when you switch to cooling it does, then you possibly have a reversing valve failure. The reversing valve will need to be replaced by a professional heating and air technician.


Randy Murphy

Randy Murphy has been building his knowledge of the air conditioning and heating business for several years now. He first started applying his knowledge while working for his father’s HVAC company. Later, in 1987, Randy started his own business: Metro Express Service. He has been a top 10 Trane & Amana dealer for over eight years. When it comes to heating and cooling, Randy knows the business better than anyone.
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