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During the winter, my heat pump delivers warm air, but not hot air, and will operate for long periods of time. Is that normal?

Technician troubleshooting a residential heat pump

Learn how to perform some troubleshooting and problem solving on your heat pump this winter.

People who switch from a furnace to a heat pump tend to go through a confusing transition period and often need to perform some troubleshooting and problem solving to get it right. These two devices do not behave the same way, and the difference in your home will be noticeable. Rest assured that even though heat pumps may not blast your home full of hot air, they will keep the house warm when they are working properly.

However, if you feel your heat pump is not bringing hot air into your home, there are a few things you can do to perform basic troubleshooting/problem solving:

  • Problem: the heat pump compressor is malfunctioning. When the compressor stops working, the system stops pumping warm air in from the outside. This issue requires the attention of an HVAC professional.
  • Problem: the heat pump is frozen. This is not a common problem, but if it’s extremely cold outside, it’s worth taking a look. If you see ice built up on the outdoor heat pump, try gently chipping the ice away to see if the coolant in the system will start flowing again.
  • Problem: the heat pump is defrosting. Every so often, a heat pump will run a defrost cycle to prevent ice build-up. For a short time, you could feel cool air coming out of your vents. If this only happens for brief periods, keep in mind that this is a normal function of a heat pump system.

If none of these problems seems to be causing your warm air issue, then keep in mind that a heat pump works very differently than your old furnace. Heat pumps bring in a steady supply of warm air, rather than short bursts of hot air to warm your home, so there will be a definite difference in the heating experience within the home.

In the event that you believe your heat pump is not working properly, contact Brummitt Heating and Cooling to have one of our expert technicians come out to perform professional troubleshooting and problem solving for your heat pump.