outdoor heat pump unit covered in snow outside of a home
November 16, 2018

It’s the last thing you want to have happen in the middle of a Maine winter. One minute your heat pump is delivering a continuous stream of warm air, keeping your home at a consistent, comfortable temperature. The next minute, it starts blowing cold air as if it’s suddenly gone into cooling mode.

Scenarios like this should be rare, especially when you have a heat pump specialist like Goggin Energy design and install your heat pump system. However, we also know that emergencies happen. We want our customers to feel comfortable at home no matter the season, so we’re sharing a few troubleshooting tips for Maine homeowners who have heat pumps.

Problem #1: Heat Pump Won’t Turn On

This is one of the most common heat pump problems we see here in Maine. If your heat pump won’t turn on, it is likely a problem with either your controls or there is something preventing the electricity from reaching the outdoor unit.   unit receiving power.

Check your home’s electrical panel to ensure that a circuit breaker hasn’t tripped. If it has, fixing the issue is as simple as turning the breaker all the way to the off position and then turning it back to the on position. You can also check the disconnect switch located outside, next to the outdoor unit to ensure that it is in the on position.

If the problem isn’t caused by a tripped circuit breaker, call a professional.

Problem #2: Heat Pump Is Blowing Cold Air in Heating Mode

Is your heat pump blowing cold air when it should be providing heat? The first thing you should do is double-check that the indoor unit has not been accidentally switched to air conditioning mode. If it hasn’t, take a look at the outdoor unit. Does it look encased in a heavy coat of ice?

Some icing around your outdoor heat pump unit is normal; outdoor units have a defrost mode to remove this kind of ice. But if you see heavy icing, especially around the coils, your heat pump will not be able to provide heat as it should. Heavy icing may be caused by a malfunction in the defrost mode, an outdoor fan problem, or low refrigerant.

If your unit does not appear heavily iced over, it could be a valve, compressor, or refrigerant problem.

Problem #3: Heat Pump Is Constantly Running

Have you noticed that your heat pump is constantly running, seemingly unable to keep up with your cold house? If so, the problem may not be with your heat pump at all; it could be that too much cold air is seeping into your home. This happens when your home is under-insulated or contains air leaks along the exterior, letting the winter cold in.

Problem #4: Heat Pump Is Making Unusual Sounds

Unusual sounds coming from a heat pump could point to something serious, so it’s best to investigate them as soon as possible. Often, sounds like rattling are caused by loose hardware or an out-of-place register.

If you hear grinding or squealing, it could be a more serious issue—such as worn motor bearings. To spare yourself from a more expensive repair down the road, have a heat pump installer diagnose the problem now.

Leave Your Heat Pump Issues to the Experts

Still have questions about your heat pump, even after troubleshooting? As leading experts on heat pump system design and installation in York, Cumberland, and Sagadahoc County, we understand how Maine heat pumps work. If you are having issues with your heat pump, get in touch with our team so we can help you restore your home comfort as soon as possible.

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