In the middle of winter, the last thing that you want is a broken heat pump. When there is snow and ice outside, staying warm indoors sounds like the perfect option. Faltering heat can take you by surprise. In some cases, heat pump or furnace repair may be a necessity. However, before you call a technician, try out these troubleshooting tips.

Heat Pumps Are Different Than Furnaces

Heat Pumps extract heat from the outside air. As outdoor temperatures go down, the less heat it can absorb, which lowers the temperature the heat pump can produce. The colder the outdoor weather, the cooler the air coming out the vents will feel. The air may not feel hot, but here’s a way to check the heat pump is working.

Hold a thermometer up to the vent that blows out air, and then hold it up to a return vent. If the air coming out of the first vent is 15-30 degrees warmer than the air at the return vent, the heat pump is working fine.

Defrost Mode

When the heat pump is in defrost mode, it melts the buildup of ice outside the unit when the outdoor temperatures are below freezing. This mode makes it easier to access the outdoor unit as well. However, if the unit gets stuck in this mode, it may damage your unit. Switch to heating mode, then back to defrost mode. Be patient – the heat pump will not give off hot hair until the end of the defrost cycle.

Thermostat Settings

Check the thermostat to see if the settings were changed by accident. If the thermostat is set to “cool” or “off,” switch it to “heat.” The fan setting should be on “auto,” not “on.” When the fan is set to “on,” it runs continuously, even when the air is not heated. In “auto” mode, the fan only runs when warm air is produced.

Other Problems

There are two other reasons cold air may be coming out of the vents: low refrigerant levels or a malfunctioning reversing valve. Both of these problems need to be addressed by an HVAC service technician.

Good Deals Heating and Cooling

If you have checked all the above listed issues or the troubleshooting list in your owner’s manual and have not solved the problem, contact an HVAC repair service. Good Deals Heating and Cooling has expert technicians for all your heat pump and furnace repair needs. Call 215-947-1166 to set up a service appointment.