A concerned homeowner asked me: “Why is my Carrier heat pump not working properly? It shuts off periodically, or trips the breaker, or just blows warm air.”
We hear this complaint from time to time. Heat pump systems are efficient and growing in popularity. Especially in temperate climates, they present an environmentally and fiscally friendly alternative to more traditional heating and cooling systems. Furthermore, the technology is advancing quickly, and systems are getting more and more efficient and powerful.
Still, with any complicated appliance, there are a lot of moving parts, a lot of things that can go wrong. If you’re experiencing problems, particularly with the cooling abilities of your heat pump system (Carrier or otherwise), this article will give you a few things you can check, or ask your HVAC technician to diagnose and repair.
Disclaimer: DO NOT attempt any repair that you do not feel fully prepared to carry out safely. Heat pumps carry high voltages!
Question: Is your refrigerant level where it should be?
If your refrigerant levels are low, your heat pump system will work poorly, or not at all. It can cause interior workings of your system to freeze or shut off, and is caused by a leak somewhere in your system. If you suspect this to be the case, call a technician. Refrigerant can be hazardous, and only a certified professional should attempt this repair.
Question: Is your electrical working properly?
If your system shuts off periodically, blows a fuse or trips the breaker, it’s a sign of an electrical problem. You should NOT reset the breaker and continue running the system. Heat and cold can cause wires to contract and expand, loosening them over time.
You may also have a problem with your home wiring, or not be providing enough power to your heat pump. This could also mean a compressor problem, which is likely if your system works only intermittently, and is not tripping breakers.
Question: Did I check the system settings and batteries?
Most modern thermostat systems use batteries. Check these – sometimes it really is that simple. Also, make sure your system is set to COOL and that the temperature is set at least two degrees below the temperature in the room.
Other potential problems that can cause those symptoms include a bad capacitor, debris buildup in the external unit, ice inside the system because the defroster hasn’t been running, or dirty air filters. As with anything, routine air conditioning service is your best friend to keep your heat pump system running properly.
Need help with your heat pump or air conditioning system? Call 727-270-9819 today and save $35 on any paid ac repair!