How to Tell If Your Heat Pump Isn’t Working Well

heat pump

Heat pumps are very popular, especially where winters are mild. With heat pumps, homeowners can save significantly on their bills. Unlike furnaces, which burn fuel to generate warmth, heat pumps move heat around the home. 

Because the unit runs quietly, it can be easy to forget that it needs regular attention. These systems operate quietly, but they need attention every once in a while. Here’s how to tell if you need to call for HVAC repair in Alabaster for your heat pump:

Your Heat Pump Freezes Up in Winter

A heat pump forces refrigerant into a small heating coil, which moves heat. Heat pumps must cycle between heating and cooling. They do this by forcing refrigerant through the coil and then a small vent. When the system is at its warmest, it changes over to cooling mode, and the refrigerant flows through the vent. During cooling, the refrigerant goes through a larger tube and into the vent, where it can be blown out of the house.

If the system switches over to cooling during winter, but the vent doesn’t work, cold refrigerant stays in the fine coil. Condensation forms, the unit freezes and stops working. The best way to tell if your heat pump is frozen is to listen for a buzzing noise. If you hear one, call for HVAC repair in Alabaster.

Your Heat Pump Ices Up in Summer

Just as a heat pump freezes up during winter, it can ices up during summer. This occurs when the unit is in cooling mode and the air blowing out of the vent is getting too cold. The unit then switches over to heating mode and heats the air, making it too warm. Cold air circulates back into the vent and freezes inside.

If you hear a buzzing sound, it could be that your heat pump is icing up and needs repair. 

It Often Cycles On and Off

Your heat pump cycles on and off to maintain a set temperature. In winter, it runs until the temperature is warm enough, and then it turns off. In summer, it cycles on and off as needed to keep the temperature comfortable.

A constant buzzing means the unit is cycling on and off frequently. It could be that the thermostat is not reading correctly, or the unit itself is not working to the best of its ability.

The Blower Stopped Working

If the blower stops working, the outside unit is not pushing air into the vent. In some cases, the blower stopped because a piece of ice fell into it. It could also be that the blower wheel is not turning properly.

The Unit Makes Noises

If the unit is making noises, it could be that parts are moving around and rubbing against things. If this happens frequently, it could mean the parts are wearing out. The unit could be getting ready to fail.

The Heat Pump Doesn’t Perform Well

The best way to tell if your heat pump isn’t working well is to watch your bills. If you have a heat pump, you’re going to save money on your heating bills. If you find that you’re spending significantly more money on heating bills, it could mean the system is not working correctly.

You Have Weak Airflow

An air conditioner’s fan is essential for air circulation. If you have weak airflow, you might have a cooling coil that needs to be taken care of because it’s dirty from dust and debris. If there’s dirt on the cooling coil, the unit will have to work harder to provide the same level of cooling. This can cause the unit to wear out sooner. And, of course, you’ll have a more challenging time breathing inside the home. The air handler indoors will pull air from the dirty cooling coil, which removes dust and debris into your home, causing you to breathe it in.


The good news is that there’s no reason to live with an air conditioning system that doesn’t work. A system that doesn’t blow cool air or provide enough heat is a hassle. It means you’ll have to put up with hot or cold days. It means you’ll have to buy additional fans to create airflow. It also means you’ll have to spend more money on your heating and cooling bills.

If your AC unit isn’t working as well as it should, call for HVAC repair in Alabaster to make sure the problem doesn’t worsen.

Mainline Heating and Air offers heating and AC service in Alabaster that can help ensure your system is working properly. Contact us today to know more about our services!

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