Is a heat pump really a heat pump if it doesn’t do its job (and keep you warm)? Most homeowners would say heck no! That’s why it’s so vital that your heat pump be fully operational, or else all you really have there is just a hunk of metal. Here at Comfort First in Chesapeake, VA, we recommend that when your heat pump fails, or is running below perfection, that you contact your heating and cooling specialist to determine the problem. With decades of experience under our belts, our Comfort First team has witnessed a great number of reasons why your heat pump may not be running as it should. Here are some of the most common problems – and repairs – that might explain what’s going on with your heat pump. Use this list to get an idea of what might be going on under the hood, then contact us so we can get your home and family back to the level of warmth you’ve come to expect.


Well give it a pair of sneakers. Sorry, we couldn’t resist. Seriously though, if you’re heat pump doesn’t turn on at all, you likely have  a problem in one of two areas:

  1. The thermostat
  2. The unit receiving power

So what can you do? Here are some tips. You can be sure that your thermostat is set to the proper setting (meaning heat if you’re looking for heat as well as the temperature you want the room to be). If you’ve recently added a new thermostat, it may not be the right kind (your thermostat must be made specifically for heat pumps), or it could’ve been wired improperly.

You can also make sure that your heat pump is receiving power. A tripped circuit breaker could be the culprit, which is an easy fix (just flip the breaker back on). If the breaker regularly trips, then you likely have a short in the electrical system that providers power to the furnace. For that you’ll want to call a heating and cooling specialist.


So your problem is that your heat pump isn’t blowing the type of heat it’s supposed to? Keep in mind a few things:

  1. Heat pumps don’t pump out heat that’s as hot as oil or gas-forced furnaces
  2. Your heat pump may have gone into defrost mode (to prevent it from icing up), which might cause it to temporarily output cold air.

Regardless, if this is a persistent problem, make sure your thermostat is set properly, and even raise the temperature by 5 degrees, and wait a few minutes to see if you feel a difference. Also, make sure that the room-heating registers are open.

You can also check the heat pump filter. If the filter’s dirty, change it or have your heating specialist change it. You can also try to clean the coils of the outdoor condensing unit. If none of these steps work, it’s definitely time to contact your Chesapeake heating specialist.


Ah yes, we’ve seen this one often. This means your heat pump is cycling incorrectly. There may be a clogged filter or blower that’s malfunctioning. Try cleaning or replacing your filter. Then check your thermostat (it may be improperly calibrated or isn’t getting a proper sampling of the room air). If the room temperature is rising higher or drops lower than the temperature you set on your thermostat, then it’s likely an issue with the heat anticipator. Call your heating specialist.


If you hear squealing and grinding noises, that’s a big problem. Your motor’s bearings are probably shot, and you’ll want to call your heat pump repair technician ASAP. But there are other noises as well to look out for, including:

  • Rattling – if you hear a rattling noise, then the cover panels may not be screwed on tight enough. This noise can also come from rattling ductwork or loose parts in the air handler.
  • Metal noises – Heating ducts are often times made out of metal,  so noise is a bit unavoidable. But you can break the conduction of sound by having your heating specialist insert flexible insulation ductwork between the heat pumps and the ductwork runs
  • Pinging – This ping/pong sound may be caused by thermal expansion, or even by air that’s getting blown past some flap of metal. You can track along the duct runs while listening for the sound. If you do find the culprit, make a small dent in the sheet metal. This will provide a more rigid surface that will be less likely to move as it heats and cools.

It’s always good to know what’s going on with your heat pump, but we encourage you to also contact your Chesapeake heating specialist to take care of any significant problems. Contact our specialists today. We serve homes and businesses throughout the greater Chesapeake, VA area.