Signs Your Heat Pump Is Going Bad

December 16, 2021

Signs Your Heat Pump Is Going Bad

Heat pumps are an integral part of heating systems used across Canada. Your furnace produces heat and a heat pump moves the heat around the house or the commercial setting.

Like your HVAC system, your heat pump also needs regular maintenance. A properly maintained heat pump not only helps in the proper distribution of heat but also helps you save money on utility bills.

Heat pumps are not very noisy which is why many people tend to forget about them. However, to ensure energy efficiency and proper distribution of heat throughout your residential or commercial area, it is best to schedule regular maintenance sessions with a professional HVAC technician.

If you are unsure when to schedule a maintenance session for your heat pump, there are some telltale signs that you can look for. In this blog, we have listed some of the most common signs that indicate heat pump failure.

Accumulation Of Ice

Your heat pump may develop a thin layer of ice on it. In this case, the pump will automatically shift to defrost mode to melt the ice. However, sometimes, if the unit is not working properly, a thick coating of ice will develop on the pumps that cover the coils and other parts of the unit.

This shows that the unit is not working in optimal conditions and is not automatically defrosting the ice. Sometimes, due to the ice development, the pump can automatically shut down to prevent further damage.

The accumulated ice can damage the fins, blades and compressor of the system. The development of heavy ice indicates that the defrosting mechanism of the system is not working properly. In most cases, the defrosting mechanism fails due to faulty sensors, controls and relays.

In addition to this, there can be a problem with the reverse valve that is responsible for switching the unit from heating mode to AC mode. Another issue that might affect the defrosting mechanism is low levels of refrigerant liquid.

Apart from this, know that if your system is icing up in the summer this is not normal. Summer ice is an indicator that the unit is not working properly. It does not indicate any issue with the defrosting mechanism.

Icing in the summer can be caused by a refrigerant leak, dirty coils or a clogged air filter. Do not operate the unit if it gets icy in summer as you might damage it beyond repair. Make sure you contact a skilled HVAC professional.

Short Cycling

If your heat pump is constantly turning on and off, there is an issue with the blower. This phenomenon is called short cycling. It is usually caused by a faulty blower, a thermostat that’s improperly calibrated or a clogged filter. In most cases, short cycling causes the unit to overheat.

In addition to this, if the temperature in different parts of the residential or commercial setting differs from the thermostat setting, then the prevailing issue is most likely being caused by the thermostat’s heat anticipator.

Blower Not Working

If the blower is not working despite the thermostat fan switch being set to ‘on’ there might be an issue with the limit switch. The plenum is the part of the pump that directs heated air to all the ducts. The limit switch is situated below the plenum.

If the air gets too hot, the limit switch will turn off the system. If the motor is working but the blower is not, the belt that connects these two components may be broken.


Apart from the aforementioned issues, other common issues that indicate a problem with your heat pump include:

  • Noisy unit
  • Poor air circulation
  • Spiking utility bills
  • Weak airflow
  • Poor indoor air quality

If you are facing any of these issues, it is best to call a professional to check on your heat pump.

About Us

Pro-West Heating & Air Conditioning provides top-class repairing, maintaining, and installation services for heating and cooling appliances. Our expert water heater cleaning, repairing, maintaining, and installation services make sure your house is well-fed with a proper supply of hot water during the winter season.

If you notice any malfunction or decrease in the efficiency of your water heater, contact us to have our experts inspect and solve your water heater problems for you.