How can I Test my Heat Pump?
TechXpert verified by Ken Kontra
When testing your heat pump, you want to make sure warm air is circulating from your vents and that your heat pump fan and outdoor unit are functioning properly. To ensure your heat pump is running smoothly, there are a few methods worth trying before calling an HVAC technician. Check the heat release, fans, and the outdoor unit.
A simple way to check if your heat pump system is working is to increase your thermostat temperature by one to two degrees and check the vents to feel if warmer air is being released. If you raise the setting by three degrees or more, you will be testing both the heat pump and auxiliary supplemental heat.
If certain rooms are heating more than others, this could be the result of debris blocking the air vents and ducts. Try to locate the blockage by checking every intake and exhaust of your duct system.
Fans or Blower Running
Once you’ve raised the temperature, you should hear your fan activate. Most thermostats have a built in time delay of five minutes before it commands the equipment to run. If the equipment doesn’t start after five minutes, make sure your heat pump is getting power and that your thermostat wiring is stable.
Check the fuses and breakers for the air handler or furnace. If a fuse was blown or a breaker has tripped, this could imply an issue with the wiring, the blower motor, or the control board. If the breaker didn’t trip, the problem could be with the thermostat, low voltage wiring, or fan relay.
If your fan is running, turn your thermostat to its emergency heat and check for warm air being released through your vents. If you’re feeling warm air, the issue is related to your outdoor unit.
Troubleshooting the Outdoor Unit
Before checking the outdoor unit, set the emergency heat back to normal heat on your thermostat. If you see ice or frost on your outdoor unit, your heat pump is most likely low on refrigerant or has an issue with the defrost controls.
Resetting Your Heat Pump
Reset buttons are as satisfying as they sound: they can get things back on track with the flick of a switch. If your heat pump has a reset button, press it and see if it fixes the problem. If you’re not lucky enough to have a reset button, turn off your heat pump system with the thermostat or breaker. After a minute, try turning it back on. Patience is key here, since it could take up to 10 minutes for the system to start.
Replace When Reset Fails
If you find yourself pressing the reset button again or restarting it entirely, it may be time to welcome a new heat pump to your home. Once you’ve run out of methods to check your heat pump, you can call an HVAC technician that will have the replacement and installation underway safely and quickly.
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