5 Signs That Your Heat Pump is Broken

It’s important to stay alert for signs that your heat pump may not be operating as it should be – unusual noises or smells should be addressed immediately by an HVAC specialist.

For instance, your heat pump may have become stuck in cooling mode due to a broken reversing valve.

To be sure, you can hire an HVAC specialist for any of your heat pump issues and HVAC systems concerns. Just click here for Anderson Air, the trusted provider of heat pump repair services. Here is a list of signs your system is broken.

1. It’s not working


Heat pumps that fail can create serious disruption in your home. They may no longer provide adequate cooling or heating capabilities; if this is the case for you, make sure your thermostat settings reflect this by switching it from AC mode to heating mode; this should get it going again.

If your heat pump has activated but only produces lukewarm air, its reversing valve may be compromised or there could be a refrigerant shortage or leak. A professional should be called in order to resolve these issues.

If your heat pump emits unpleasant odors like burning plastic or other unpleasant scents, it could be experiencing electrical issues which require the help of a trained HVAC professional for repair. If smoke begins coming from it immediately turn off the power switch and contact an HVAC technician asap!

2. It’s noisy


Heat pumps tend to make some sound while operating, but you should be concerned if this noise seems abnormal or out-of-the-ordinary. A light humming or buzzing noise when the system is operating typically indicates it is functioning as intended and that all is in order.

Vibrating, rattling or screeching

Vibrating, rattling or screeching sounds are unusual and could indicate something is amiss with your system. This could range from something simple like loose covers on outside units that need tightening up, to complicated issues with air handlers or ductwork requiring professional intervention.


A hissing sound indicates a refrigerant leak and should serve as an early warning system, potentially leading to environmental and health concerns, decreased heating and cooling output, longer cycles and higher energy costs.

3. It’s costing you more


As seasons change, your heat pump will switch from cooling mode to heating mode and your energy bill may spike – a good indication that something is wrong with your unit. Potential causes could include clogged air filters or low refrigerant charge levels; however, a heat pump technician will be able to assess and test it to identify exactly why it’s working overtime.

4. It’s not heating your space

Heat pumps consume much less energy to regulate home temperatures than furnaces; however, if your heat pump runs constantly without producing heat for your space it may require troubleshooting services to address the problem.

Your first step should always be to check your thermostat, as it could be set incorrectly or experiencing thermostat miscalibration issues that result in inaccurate readings. If this doesn’t solve the issue, contact a professional and they may need to conduct further investigations.

It could be an internal issue like a problem with the reversing valve. A heat pump’s reversing valve is essential in its dual role of being both heater and air conditioner, but sometimes becomes damaged and prevents switching mode operation. Although generally self-automated, it may become stuck and prevent it from switching modes automatically.

Keep an eye out for any peculiar smells emanating from your unit, as these could indicate mold growth or an electrical problem requiring immediate resolution. Musty or rotting scents indicate this while burning smells could indicate that the electrical work needs to be addressed immediately.

5. It’s increasing your energy bills

If your heat pump is operating constantly and causing an unexpected increase in energy costs, this could be a telltale sign it needs replacing. Many factors could influence this decision such as incorrect thermostat settings or dirty air filters – it is wise to consult an HVAC expert in your area for professional advice before making this decision.

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