February 27, 2017


You may be wondering, “How does a heat pump work?” because cooling down your home is a high priority in the hot summer months here in Tampa. It’s not surprising that many folks have concerns if their heat pump system isn’t working properly. If you find yourself experiencing issues with your heat pump system, it’d be wise to check for a few common problems before calling a professional.

The first and most obvious thing is to check that your thermostat is correctly set. Often, if a system is not set to at least two degrees below the current temperature, it won’t turn on and actively cool and dehumidify the air.

If you’ve confirmed that the settings are correct, it’s time to look into slightly less obvious problems.

First, check for power issues, including the breaker.

Heat pump systems are high-wattage. A fair amount of electricity is being used, so it’s definitely worth opening your breaker box and checking to see if anything has been tripped. A tripped breaker obviously means your system can’t turn on, so flipping that to the off position and then back on may solve your problem.

However, it is important to consider that the breaker may have tripped for a reason, so keep an eye on that. If it trips a second time in short order, don’t reset it again. You may have a direct electrical short somewhere in your equipment. Call an HVAC professional and have them come out to confirm that your system is behaving properly.

If you’re dealing with a reputable company and reputable equipment, such as Carrier, heat pump systems are efficient and effective ways of managing interior temperatures, but as they are also passing a lot of current, so you absolutely don’t want to take chances.

If your breakers aren’t tripped, but you still can’t power the system up, you may have other issues. Breakers can trip or power can be lost because of loose wires, as the aluminum and copper in them often contracts or expands with the temperature, leading to a natural (and sometimes unavoidable) loosening over time.

These can be tightened easily enough, though again, we want to stress that you should not be casually poking your way around a high-voltage heat pump system.

If your system isn’t blowing cold, the capacitor could also be at fault, or could have caused wiring or relay issues like those discussed above. A capacitor is a bit like a battery, storing voltage in order to spin the motors for your compressor and fan.

We’ve seen a 3-year old Carrier heat pump exhibit the symptoms we’ve been discussing in this article, and it turned out to be a bad capacitor. The good news is that the capacitor is typically a very inexpensive repair.

As always, exhibit caution when dealing with any HVAC diagnosis.

Having a problem with your heat pump system anywhere in the Greater Tampa area? Call us today at 813-701-3430 and save during the Spectacular Heat Pump Sale Event!