Troubleshooting Your Heat Pump In Winter

Heating and Air Conditioning

When the cold starts to get more intense during the winter months, you probably find yourself using your heating system more than usual. But the minute you start to lean on your heating system, you’ll probably notice your home heating bills ramping up. If you’re not keen on overpaying to keep warm and you want to make sure your heating pump is in good shape before the cold weather comes, it’s not enough to frantically google “heating and cooling near me” and hope something comes up. Before you run into serious issues with your heat pump, here are some common winter issues and how to fix them.

Not Heating Up Enough

Picture this: You turn up the heat on a chilly day, but nothing happens. The more you turn it up, the less you feel like anything is happening. If your heat pump is on the fritz, this is a common problem. If you’re used to furnace heat, you might be expecting frequent blasts of heat to come through your vents at intervals. Heat pumps, however, work to extract heat from the ground. This means that if you’re not getting enough heat, it’s probably due to the outside temperature. If your home doesn’t feel warm enough, call a professional and ask about getting a secondary heating system for colder winter days.

Ice Forming on Unit


During the winter months, it’s not uncommon for your outdoor unit to freeze over. When temperatures drop, your condenser unit could end up having to work overtime just to maintain a warm internal temperature. However, when your unit totally freezes, you may need to call in the professionals. Just like having your pipes freeze, having your condenser ice over can mean serious long-term damage if you don’t get it looked at right away.

Running Overtime

If your heat pump is running all the time, there are probably a few factors going into this. First, your house might be too drafty for your heat pump to be able to deal with. Because cold air keeps coming in, your pump is struggling to regulate the temperature. If you’re dealing with this issue, go through your house and add weatherstripping to leaky windows, as well as any other insulation you can get your hands on. Adding an extra seal on your windows could help keep drafts out and improve your heat pump’s performance overall.

Cold Air Blowing

Air is coming out of your vent, but it’s cold. What gives? In this situation, you could be dealing with something as simple as a closed vent somewhere in your home. In order for your heat pump system to work at a high level, all your heating vents should be open to increase air circulation. If your heat pump is “defrosting,” this could be a normal part of the cycle. However,  if the cold air doesn’t turn warm after about 15 minutes, you could be looking at a more serious problem. If your vents are all open and you’re still experiencing cold air or limited airflow, you should call an HVAC technician as soon as you can.