Your heat pump plays an essential part in heating and cooling your home. In the wintertime, a heat pump pulls warm air from outside and transfers it into your home. In the summer months, your heat pump absorbs the warm air inside sending it outdoors to cool your home’s atmosphere. So, when your heat pump won’t start, it has a negative effect on your home’s atmosphere regardless of the season.

Though there are many reasons why a heat pump won’t start, there are some common ones to keep in mind.

A Malfunctioning Start Capacitor

The normal operation of a heat pump involves electrical charges traveling from the start capacitor to the motor. These electrical charges prompt the unit to kick on. A malfunctioning start capacitor isn’t able to provide the electrical charges. As a result, the heat pump won’t start.

A clicking sound coming from the unit is a telltale sign of issues with the start capacitor. The clicking is an indication that the unit is trying to start but doesn’t have the power to do so.

A Frozen Unit

Frozen components inside a heat pump can prevent the unit from kicking on. Sometimes it’s easy to spot a frozen component of a heat pump. As an example, a heat pump’s fan blades may not turn because they are frozen in place. This can happen as a result of a particularly bad ice storm. Or fan blades can freeze up when the temperature drops after a period of rainfall. Eventually, frozen fan blades can cause a heat pump’s motor to burn out.

The coils of a heat pump can freeze too. This is another situation that prevents a heat pump from kicking on. However, frozen coils are harder to see than fan blades because they are down inside the unit.

As a note, a working heat pump has a defrost cycle designed to clear the ice off the metal fins of the unit. This cycle allows a heat pump to function even in the coldest temperatures. However, if any components of a heat pump are frozen, the unit needs the attention of an HVAC pro.

A Low Level of Refrigerant

The refrigerant in a heat pump is responsible for the heat exchange process. This process can warm or cool your home. If a heat pump is in good condition, the refrigerant level remains the same. But, if the level becomes low, your heat pump won’t operate as it should. Loose connections, corrosion, or other types of damage can allow refrigerant to leak out.

A qualified HVAC technician has the tools and equipment necessary to check the refrigerant level of a heat pump. If the level is low, the technician searches for the location of the leak. After pinpointing the leak, they will work on repairing or replacing the part. They will also be able to replenish the refrigerant level once the repairs are complete to ensure proper operation.

A Faulty Reverse Valve

The reverse valve in a heat pump relates to the refrigerant in the unit. The reverse valve directs the path of the refrigerant so it can provide warm or cool air to a home. So, if your thermostat is set to AC mode and warm air is pouring out of the vents, it’s probably a reverse valve issue.

A faulty reverse valve could be the result of damaged wires, corrosion, or general wear and tear.

A Tripped Circuit

A heat pump that shows no signs of life may be the result of a tripped circuit breaker. The circuit breaker trips whenever there’s a danger of an electrical overload. The tripped circuit may be due to a loose connection, faulty fan motor, or damaged wiring to name a few reasons.

If the circuit breaker continues to shut off power to the heat pump, it’s important to contact an HVAC technician.

A Thermostat Malfunction

Sometimes a malfunctioning thermostat is responsible for a non-working heat pump. The electrical wiring connecting the thermostat to the heat pump may have been damaged. This will prevent the heat pump from receiving the signal to kick on. Alternatively, a thermostat’s battery may be dead.

Some thermostats have inaccurate temperature readings that affect the performance of a heat pump. If that’s the case, the thermostat needs to be recalibrated to ensure accurate temperature readings. Our technicians at Southland Heating & Air Conditioning have the tools to check the accuracy of a thermostat and recalibrate it if that’s the issue.

Debris in the Area Around the Heat Pump

In order to perform its duty, a heat pump must have free-flowing air around it. At times, plants, bushes, and other vegetation can grow too close to a heat pump unit preventing proper airflow. In fact, sometimes branches and twigs can become entangled in the metal fins of a heat pump. This can damage the metal fins and even interfere with the moving parts inside the unit. Making sure a heat pump has at least two feet of space around it can help to prevent this issue.

A Build-Up of Dirt on the Unit’s Components

This outdoor part of an HVAC system is especially vulnerable to an accumulation of dust, dirt, and other debris. A layer of dirt and dust can build up interfering with the proper operation of a heat pump. That’s why regular maintenance done by a skillful HVAC technician is so important.

A professional will be able to clean the coils, fan, fins, and other parts of a heat pump to remove this debris. Also, the technician removes the leaves from inside the unit as well as any insect nests there. In addition, a maintenance check involves steps such as lubricating connections, examining the wiring for damage, and testing the voltage. Getting regular maintenance for your heat pump gives the technician the opportunity to look for potential issues. If there is an issue, the technician can address it right away before it affects the operation of the unit.

Our capable team at Southland Heating & Air Conditioning is proud to serve Newbury Park and the surrounding area. If your heat pump won’t turn on or isn’t performing as it should, our trained technicians can help. Along with heat pump repair work, we offer heat pump installation and maintenance services. Our other services include furnace and air conditioner installation, repair, and maintenance. Our team of technicians uses first-rate equipment and tools to ensure every project is done right. If you want to improve the air quality in your home, we can help with that too! From UV lights to air duct replacement, we have what you need to boost the quality of the air in your home. Our company has an A+ rating with the BBB and won the Angi Super Service Award in 2020. In other words, you can rely on the quality of our service for your home comfort needs.

For expert heat pump repair and more, contact Southland Heating & Air Conditioning to schedule an appointment today in Newbury Park.

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