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Why Is My Heat Pump Not Heating? A Phoenix Tech Answers.

2019 Feb 04
Posted in: Heating

In the middle of winter, you don’t want to be asking, Why is my heat pump not heating?

The good news is, we have answers for you.

  1. If your heat pump is reaching the temperature you set but it doesn’t feel warm, your body is tricking you (your heat pump is actually working just fine)!
  2. If your heat pump is not reaching your set temperature, there is a list of probable issues, including:
    • Outside unit is blocked
    • Refrigerant charge is low
    • Air filter is dirty
    • Outdoor unit doesn’t have power

Read the details (and solutions) of each issue below.

Can’t stand the cold for one more minute? Our team of experts can diagnose and repair your heat pump quickly. Call us or schedule an appointment online.

If your heat pump is reaching your set temperature…

If your heat pump is reaching the temperature you’ve set on the thermostat but it feels like it's blowing cold air, there is likely no issue with your heat pump.

Heat pumps actually blow air that is warm but feels cold to us. They typically produce air that's anywhere from 85 to 92/93° F, but because our body temperature is higher than that (98.6), that air feels "cold.”

Unlike furnaces which heat in short, strong bursts of “hot” air, heat pumps run longer to produce a steady stream of warm air (warm air that can feel cold to us).

If your heat pump ISN'T reaching your set temperature…

If your thermostat isn’t reaching the temperature you set for it, your heat pump could be experiencing one of the following issues:

Outside unit is blocked:

Your heat pump pulls the heat from the air outside into your home. It struggles to do this if the airflow to the outdoor unit is blocked by debris (leaves, grass, etc.), snow or ice, or blockages like fences or barriers.

The solution: Clean your outdoor unit and remove any blockages (debris, snow, fences, etc.) that could be preventing proper air flow.

Refrigerant charge is low:

Your heat pump pulls heat into your home through refrigerant. If your refrigerant levels are low, your heat pump will struggle to bring enough heat into your home to warm it properly.

The solution: A heating technician will need to come to evaluate your refrigerant levels to determine if the system needs to be recharged. If levels are low, there is a leak that will need to be fixed.

Air filter is dirty:

Air filters are meant to catch debris, but when they get too dirty, they start blocking the airflow to the evaporator coil (the part of the heat pump that actually heats the air when in “heat” mode).

The solution: Check your filter and change it if it’s dirty.

Clean filter vs. a dirty filter

Note: Best practice is to change your air filter every 3 months. If it hasn’t been changed recently, this should be done as soon as possible.

Related reading: Why is My Air Conditioner Filter so Dirty?

Outdoor unit doesn’t have power:

If your outdoor unit is lacking power, your blower is going to blow cold air over a cold coil (as opposed to cold air over a hot coil if the power was on). This results in cold air instead of warm air being blown into your home.

The solution: Check your breaker box. If the outdoor unit circuit breaker was tripped, reset it. If there is still no power to your unit, contact a technician.


Ready for warm air again? Get help from a Phoenix Tech

We can help! Whether your heat pump issue is one of those noted on this list or not, our team of experienced technicians can diagnose and fix your issue quickly. Reach out to our team for more information or to schedule an appointment!