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Why is my Heat Pump Not Blowing Hot Air?

With the winter months looming, it is the worst possible time for your heating system to act up suddenly.

There are various reasons why your heat pumps might malfunction, ranging from obvious ones that are easily remedied to more complicated matters that require the attention of an HVAC professional.

If you have already checked your breaker box to ensure the circuit breaker for the unit isn’t tripped, experts can examine your heating and cooling units in more detail. In case underlying issues are the culprit.

What Does a Heat Pump Do?

A heat pump facilitates heat in and out of your home. Unlike other heaters, heat pumps can convert hot air into cold air. However, it doesn’t generate its own like furnace-type heaters.

Heat pumps utilize outside air to condition your indoor environment. However, it may be harder for your heat pump to reach your set temperature during harsh winters.

Why Is My Heat Pump Not Blowing Hot Air?

If your heat pump is having trouble blowing hot air into your home, it might be time for a heat pump repair.

Your heat pump might have worked fine during the summer months and might be acting up due to the temperature change during winter. Your outdoor unit might not be working fine due to abundant colder outdoor air affecting your heat pump’s functions.

Heat Pump: Common Issues & How You Can Deal With Them

Whether it’s thanks to the colder climate, mechanical failures, and other problems, you may find ways to troubleshoot them yourself, but don’t attempt to handle or remedy electrical or chemical issues on your own. It’s best to call the pros when you are out of your depth.

Below, you will find some of the most common issues users face with their heat pumps.

Reversing valve

It may be thanks to reversing valve problems. The reversing valve is like an ON/OFF switch, connecting your outdoor unit to the one indoors. It switches your heat pump from cooling mode to heat mode. If your reversing valve is loose, clogged, or improperly installed, it may suffer from a mechanical failure.

You may quickly remedy a bad reversing valve connecting your outside unit to your air handlers. A few gentle taps can loosen any ports clogging the system and get your heat pump working properly in no time. You might want to contact a professional to replace a bad reversing valve unless you have the necessary tools and know how to dismantle the outside unit yourself.

low refrigerant charge

You may also call for heat pump repair to deal with a refrigerant leak leading to a low refrigerant charge or coil frosting. You might be able to tell if your systems have a low refrigerant charge when the air coming from indoor handlers is neither cold nor hot.

The refrigerant source is typically stored in the outside unit coils (condenser coils) and flows between both unit coils (evaporator and condenser coils) during temperature management. It isn’t advisable to handle contaminated equipment for the many risks users face with chemical exposure with a leak in either unit. Call an HVAC expert to restore refrigerant charge and other components to their original state.

System precautions

Some home heating devices have their own internal remediation functions. When these precautions are turned on, your system’s performance may be affected.

Defrost mode

Although, some heat pump devices have a built-in restoration function. A defrost mode is deployed when the condenser coil dips below a specific temperature due to the outdoor unit being exposed to zero-degree weather or a leak. If your heat pump doesn’t blow hot air, that’s because it’s in defrost mode, which is actually just cooling mode to heat up its coils. You will know because you might hear the reversing valve switch between modes, and the outdoor unit fans won’t be running.

auxiliary heat

If it is an external temperature issue, your heat pump could derive enough heat from its auxiliary heat. It might not provide enough heat for long periods, but it should suffice for a few hours.

Aux heat is its emergency heat function or reservoir. A heat pump works through various means. It can absorb heat from natural resources or generate its own through stored heat energy.

If you ever noticed the “AUX Heat” mode on your thermostat, it refers to your system tapping into its auxiliary heat (Electric Resistance Heating). Thanks to your smart thermostat settings, auxiliary heat is automatically cycled on against sudden dips in temperature. It might provide enough heat until your heat pump’s functions catch up.

Dirty filters: system cleaning and maintenance

However, to get your heat pumps blowing warm air again, you might be able to get away with just a thorough cleaning. 

Heat pumps tend to malfunction if they suffer from a dirty air filter. If it doesn’t blow warm air due to a dirty air filter, you may clean or replace it to get it in good working condition again.

Remember, the air filter of many heat pumps plays just as significant a role as its other components. A modern heat pump is typically outfitted with an air filter to prevent contaminants from entering your home.

When filters aren’t cleaned regularly, they may collect pollutants and other debris, leading to clogs. A clogged air filter can hinder proper airflow as a safety precaution by interrupting enough air coming into your home. Additionally, the airflow that does make it through might be contaminated.

How Does a Heat Pump Work?

Heat pump systems transfer heat from natural resources like air, water, and soil. Its process during heat mode doesn’t involve any combustion process.

Types of Heat Pumps

There are three types of heat pump systems, each sourced from its own natural resource.

Depending on the type of heat pump, your warm air comes from one of three elements. We will discuss each of them below.

Air-to-air Source

An air-to-air source heat pump has an outdoor unit absorbing heat from the surrounding air, with indoor air handlers and vents distributing it into your home. Its different coils transfer heat indoors and the inverse when required.

It can provide cool air by extracting indoor heat to help alleviate your home’s internal temperature using its evaporator coil. These heat pump systems are typical for an air conditioner, absorbing air and redistributing it into another environment through the air as well.

Air-to-Water Source

An air-to-water source heat pump provides your home with heat through the use of centralized heating devices like radiators, boilers, or underfloor heaters.

Like an air-to-air source heat pump, it also has an outdoor unit absorbing heat from the outside air. However, this time, heat exchangers transfer heat to a liquid refrigerant. It is then compressed and condensed to raise the refrigerant’s body temperature before releasing heat for distribution.

Ground Source (Geothermal)

A ground source heat pump is the most sustainable form of home heating by far. Its process involves renewable energy technology producing more efficient heat production.

During winter, the “smart” heat pump utilizes heat from underground moisture. Where the heat extracted from your home in the summer is also stored to be used in the winter months.

This highly efficient method of storing and reusing natural elements is a sustainable way to provide warm and cold air for your home.

Parts of a Heat Pump System

While different types possess varying systems, each shares three significant components:

  1. Compressor (Outside unit)
  2. Air Handler (Indoor unit/s)
  3. Thermostat

Each plays a role in helping you and your family feel cool in the summer and warm in the winter. These heaters aren’t like an air conditioner or gas furnace. They can provide your home with cold air like an air conditioner or hot water like a furnace, but they are more efficient and versatile.

Delivering Hot and Cold Air

An air conditioner cannot lower the indoor air temperature without a heat pump’s help. Air conditioners cannot provide warmth without being linked to a gas furnace if they don’t have heat pumps built into their system.

A furnace is less efficient in generating heat by combustion than utilizing an outdoor unit to absorb heat for distribution. Additionally, a furnace doesn’t provide cold air. Only a heat pump’s functions can deliver both.

Utah’s Most Trust Professional Technician for HVAC Systems

Call us when your heat pump is dealing with a low refrigerant charge, suffering from a leak, power source issue, or from anything else hindering it from delivering your desired temperature.

One-Stop Heating and Air Conditioning

If the air coming into your home isn’t to your liking, a heat pump repair might just do the thing!

The One-Stop Heating and Air Conditioning company provides Utahns with furnace repairfurnace maintenance, and heating system installation.

Check out our extensive suite of services and book your appointment online.

Call (801) 355-9500

Reach out to our team through our hotline for more immediate concerns.

Our business hours include 24/7 emergency assistance!