Heat Pump Repair
In Northwest Arkansas & having trouble with your heat pump? Read on.
Try these seven things first
Like an A/C or furnace, heat pump issues can sometimes be fixed with basic troubleshooting. Before spending money on a service call, we always recommend people do the following:
1. Check your thermostat batteries. If your thermostat screen is blank or showing a battery symbol, there's a possibility bad batteries are causing your HVAC issues. To fix it, all you need to do is take your the thermostat unit off (most come off easily if pulled directly away from the wall) and toss a couple fresh batteries in it. Note: Even if your thermostat screen is lit, you can still have bad batteries. They may have just enough power to turn the screen on, but not enough to flip the relays that actually do the work of telling your system to come on.
2. Confirm your thermostat is set to "Auto" and not "On". I know, this sounds like a dumb one, but we have run quite a few calls where the only issue was the thermostat being set to "On", rather than "Auto". Take a second and make sure that's not the case here.
3. Check that your heat pump circuit breaker isn't tripped or off. Sometimes heat pump issues can be traced back to the breaker box. To check, go to your breaker box and look for a switch labeled heat pump (or AC). If the switch is on the opposite side of all the other switches, flip it. Voilà — your issue should be fixed. If the switch is in the middle position, your circuit breaker tripped because of an electrical issue. Flipping it may fix the issue, but we always recommend getting someone out there to figure out what tripped it. If it trips again, you absolutely need to have a technician out because something is seriously wrong.
4. Check your filter. Heat pumps work hard to push conditioned air through your home. A dirty filter can get in the way of that and cause your system to flat out quit on you. To rule that out, replace your old filter with a clean one (you can get them from Walmart or Amazon: make sure you get the right size!). If you've never changed yours before, first you need to locate it. Most are behind the big metal vent you see in your ceiling (usually a hallway). Here’s a typical one:
Once you find your return air vent, remove the grate and take out the filter. There should be some numbers on the side that tell you what size you need to buy. After buying a new one, place it in the grate with the arrow size facing up. Now just flip your heat pump circuit breaker off and then back on (see above) and cross your fingers!
5. Clear your condensate drain. A clogged drain line can cause your unit to shut off or worse, water damage to your home. A quick DIY method of clearing your drain is to take a wet/dry shop vac and put it on the PVC line coming out of your house by the outdoor HVAC unit. Then, use your hand to make a vacuum and turn it on. If all goes well, you'll get enough gunk out of the drain for it to start flowing again and your AC should kick back on.
6. Clear the area around your outdoor unit. Your outdoor unit needs space around it to work effectively, ideally 1-2 feet. Take a few minutes to clean up the area around your condenser (the technical name for the outdoor unit). If there was tall grass or brush around it prior to you clearing it out, you'll soon notice your HVAC system cooling better.
7. Clean your evaporator and condenser coils. Your heat pump has two coils: an evaporator coil inside your home and a condenser coil outside your home. Both need to be clean to cool your home properly.
To clean them, you can use coil cleaner to rinse off any dirt or debris. If you have pets and your coils are covered in hair, you can use a soft bristle brush to remove it.
Note: Each coil takes a specific coil cleaner. Be sure to use the right ones and follow the directions to the tee so you don't damage your system (here's a couple off Amazon: evaporator coil cleaner, condenser coil cleaner). In particular, be careful around the fragile metal fins of your coils and try your best not to bend them.
If you're tried the above and still no luck
If all of the above fail, you can feel pretty confident you have a real issue with your heat pump. That doesn't necessarily mean the repair is going to be expensive, just that you'll need an HVAC technician to work on it.
If you want a helping hand, our service calls are $19 plus tax, so you can get a friendly, trained Franklin technician out there to diagnose your issue for around the same cost as a couple large pizzas. He’ll figure out what the issue is, recommend a repair, and if you go with it, hopefully have your heat pump working again within a couple hours.
For heat pump repairs in Northwest Arkansas, call Franklin at (479) 282-0003 or just tap the message bubble in the bottom right to schedule.
What is a heat pump?
There is a lot of confusion around what a heat pump actually is. Despite that, the concept is actually pretty simple to grasp: a heat pump is basically an air condtioner that can run in reverse. A normal AC takes heat from the inside of your home and puts it outside. A heat pump is able to do that, along with the opposite — take heat from the outside and put it inside your home. Because of its ability to do both, a heat pump is much more efficient than a normal HVAC system (they're also a little more expensive). Want to learn more about heat pumps? Watch this great explainer video on YouTube.
How do I know if I have a heat pump vs a regular AC?
The best way to figure out if you have a heat pump is to look at the data plate on your outdoor unit, then Google your model number. It will either pop up as a heat pump or AC model.
Our most recent Google reviews:
Note: This is not a "filtered" feed of only positive reviews. This is truly a live feed of real reviews from Google — good, bad, and everything in between. Despite trying desperately, we're not perfect. Why hide it?
Would you like to be reminded next time it's time for maintenance? Just text us at (479) 282-0003 and we'll add you to the reminder list 🤓.