Why Is My Heat Pump Not Heating My Home?

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Is your heat pump not heating your Cincinnati area home? Several issues could be to blame for this troublesome heating system malfunction, some of which just need a quick fix while others require professional repairs.

The licensed Cincinnati heating repair technicians of Apollo Home walk you through common causes of a heat pump not heating, steps to fix these various problems, and how to prevent them in the first place. When your heat pump not heating requires a professional to correct, give us a call for fast, reliable service.

The Most Common Causes for Heat Pump Failure

A heat pump not heating is often traced back to a few common issues. Below, find out what they are and what you need to do to correct them.

Refrigerant Needs Recharging

Refrigerant isn’t just for cooling! Heat pumps rely on their refrigerant year-round to transfer heat between your home’s air supply and the air outdoors. When the heat pump loses refrigerant through a leak, it is unable to properly transfer heat, so it feels like you have a heat pump not heating.

This issue is one you cannot tackle yourself. Apollo Home’s HVAC technicians are licensed and certified for safe handling of refrigerant. We identify and fix leaks before recharging your system’s refrigerant.

Clogged Air Filter

When air filters become clogged with contaminants they restrict airflow through the system. The clogged filter keeps much of the circulating air from reaching the evaporator coil, where heat is exchanged.

This cause of a heat pump not heating is simple to correct – replace the filter. Don’t wait until you have a heat pump not heating to do so – change your filter according to the frequency recommended by the filter manufacturer and check your filter monthly to determine if an early change is needed to optimize performance.

Outside Unit Blocked

To extract heat from the outdoor air, air must flow through the outdoor unit to its condenser coils held within. When the outdoor unit is blocked off, there isn’t enough air movement so not enough heat is extracted to keep your home comfortable.

This heat pump not heating problem also has an easy fix – clean off the outdoor unit and move away anything that blocks airflow. Brush away leaves and grass clippings, shovel away snow, trim back vegetation, and remove fencing or items stored near the unit. Keep at least two feet of clearance surrounding the outside unit for optimal airflow.

Outside Unit Has No Power

Check the thermostat. Make sure the thermostat is set on “heat.” The thermostat setting must be higher than the indoor temperature in order to initiate a heating cycle. 

Make sure it has power. Most heat pumps have two corresponding circuit breakers to power the air handler and condenser. If they’re tripped, flip them back to “on.” If the fuse has blown, replace it. You may also have a circuit dedicated to the heat pump’s backup heating element. Check its condition, too. Next, check the external power switch to the exterior unit – it’s typically located on the unit or the exterior wall where the refrigerant lines run into the home.

Is Your Heat Pump Tricking You?

Does your heat pump run but you feel cool air coming from the vents around your home? It may feel like you have a heat pump not heating, but as long as your heat pump hits the thermostat’s setpoint, there’s probably no problem at all.

Air conditioned by your heat pump that enters your living areas typically arrives between 85°F and 90°F. When you see those temperatures written out, it’s obvious the air is plenty warm enough – but if you rely on your body to tell you the air is at that temperature, you’ll probably feel it’s too low. 

So why does it feel like the heat pump is not heating when the air is actually the same temperature as a hot summer day? The answer is simple – because the air temperature is lower than your body’s balmy 98.6°F, so anything less than that feels cooler in comparison.

Remember to Schedule Semi-Annual Tune Ups

Most issues that cause a heat pump to not heat are preventable with regular heat pump maintenance. Your heat pump requires two maintenance tune ups per year – one for heating season, one for cooling season.

Preventive maintenance tune ups performed by trained professionals address the four common causes of a heat pump not heating mentioned above, and much more. Any issues present are caught and corrected before you’re stuck without heat in the winter. Maintenance improves heat pump performance and energy efficiency while also reducing the likelihood of a surprise issue that causes a heat pump to not heat during the winter season.

But, If Your Heat Pump Isn’t Reaching The Set Temperature…

If your heat pump is not heating and cannot be fixed through the tips we’ve mentioned above, go ahead and give us a call to schedule heat pump repair. For 110 years, the Greater Cincinnati community has turned to Apollo Home for their home comfort needs – trust us to deliver fast, accurate service that restores heating to your home without additional delay and discomfort.

Contact Apollo Home today to schedule heat pump repairs.

"Ernie & Mike did a superb job on my new furnace and A/C installation. Despite having more than a day’s work to do, they came in and stayed until the job was done. They were organized, efficient, and protected the rest of the house well. Got both furnace and A/C installed the same day. Ernie was courteous, informative, and clearly knew his job better than anyone I’ve encountered before. The units look so good guests now get The Tour of our new system. Apollo is clearly not a fly-by-night company. I would recommend them to anyone in need of a new furnace and/or A/C."
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"The team at Apollo exceeded my expectations. As a business owner, my attention to the details and commitment to providing excellent service is high. From the sales rep. to the installation team, everyone’s performance was outstanding. For example, the installation team went to great lengths to protect our floors, placing floor runners and across the wood floors and up the stairs. They even were spot washing walls upon their departure. I highly recommend this company."
- Randy B.
"We scheduled an estimate AND a tune-up. We knew something was wrong with our furnace, but hoped we could make it through the rest of the season. Upon telling Bill what our furnace was doing, he warned us immediately what the possible outcome was going to be; a cracked heat exchanger. He watched the flames roll backward, tested carbon monoxide levels, which were so high they meter’s last reading was 5,600 before saying “high”. He immediately shut it down, tagged it, and explained that with levels that high and children in our home he wanted off right away. He continued his inspection and showed us via a camera that not only was it cracked in multiple places, but had holes all over it. He gave us a few options for repairing it; his knowledge as well as genuine concern was beneficial and refreshing. Luckily we also scheduled an estimator, Micah, to come too and we were able to get costs between repairing and replacing (with several options). We decided to replace with a much higher efficiency furnace and one sized properly to our home. Hands down, not only did they both provide us great service and knowledge, but without sounding dramatic, they may have saved our lives. This was our first time calling Apollo, but it won’t be our last."
- Sarah B.
"Apollo is an excellent company. I always receive great service. Alex A. was professional and friendly. He kept me informed during the process of checking my furnace and heat pump to make sure they were working properly. The company makes sure you are notified who is coming and when they are on the way. All my interactions with the company have been wonderful."
- Beverly S.



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