6 Common Issues Heat Pumps Have During Winter

Heat Pumo in Palm Desert, CA

The winter months can be challenging for any homeowner, but they can be especially difficult if your home relies on a heat pump to stay warm. Below are some common issues that your heat pump could face this winter.

1. Lack of Maintenance

One of the most common issues is a lack of maintenance. Like any other piece of machinery, heat pumps must be regularly serviced and cleaned to function properly. Dust and debris buildup can cause your unit to overheat, forcing it to work harder than necessary.

In addition, the ice and snow of winter can cause problems for heat pumps, as they can block airflow. That makes it difficult for the unit to function properly. Ensuring that your heat pump is regularly maintained prevents these common winter issues.

2. Frozen Coils

Coils freeze when the temperature outside drops and there’s not enough warmth in the air to defrost them. As a result, your heat pump works harder to defrost the coils, reducing efficiency and increasing wear and tear.

Additionally, frozen coils can cause the refrigerant in your heat pump to leak, causing even more problems. If you notice that your heat pump’s coils are starting to freeze, you should take action immediately to prevent further damage. One way to thaw frozen coils is to use a hair dryer on the low setting. Be careful not to overheat the coil.

You can also try thawing the coil with funnels of steaming water, although this method should be used cautiously since it can damage other parts of your heat pump. If you’re not confident in your ability to thaw the coils, you should call a qualified technician for assistance, like those at Breeze Air Conditioning. Taking care of frozen coils immediately will help keep your heat pump running smoothly throughout the winter.

3. Thermostat Problems

When the thermostat has issues, the heat pump will not be able to properly regulate the temperature in a home, which can lead to some problems.

The coils in the heat pump need to be kept free of ice and snow to function properly. If they become frozen, it can prevent the heat pump from getting enough heat outside, making it work harder and use more energy.

4. Low Refrigerant Levels

Low refrigerant levels are a heat pump’s most common issue during winter. When refrigerant levels are low, the heat pump can’t transfer heat effectively, leading to higher energy bills and decreased indoor comfort levels.

In some cases, low refrigerant levels can also cause the heat pump to overheat and shut down prematurely. If you suspect your heat pump may be low on refrigerant, it’s important to have it checked by a professional as soon as possible. Trying to add refrigerant to a heat pump yourself can be dangerous, so it’s best to leave this job to a trained technician.

5. Fan Issues

In the offseason, it’s not uncommon for heat pump systems to experience issues with their fans. This is due to a buildup of ice and snow on the outdoor unit, which can cause the fan blades to become imbalanced. As a result, the fan may wobble and make strange noises.

In some cases, the fan may even come to a complete stop. If this happens, it’s important to thaw the unit and clean off the blades before restarting the system. Otherwise, you risk damaging the fan or causing it to overheat. However, with proper maintenance, heat pump systems can provide reliable heating all winter.

6. Poor Insulation

One of the most common issues heat pumps have during winter is poor insulation. If your heat pump isn’t properly insulated, it can lose heat as it transfers it from the outdoor unit. This makes the unit overheat and shut down, leaving your home without heat. Another common issue is ice buildup on the outdoor unit. This happens if the temperature gets too low and the moisture in the air freezes. Ice buildup can restrict airflow and cause your heat pump to overwork itself, leading to expensive repairs.

If you’re experiencing heat pump issues and want to schedule a tune-up for your heat pump, don’t hesitate to call Breeze Air Conditioning in Palm Desert, CA. We’d be happy to help ensure that your home stays warm and comfortable all winter. Our team can assist with heating and cooling repair, installation, and maintenance.