heat pump replacement

Five Warning Signs that Your Heat Pump Needs Repair or Replacement

Generally, most heat pumps have a life expectancy of about 15 years. Even if your heat pump system appears to be working at 15-plus years, it may be worth it to look at upgrading for the sake of efficiency and performance.

However, it’s also very possible that a pump needs to be replaced well before its expected lifetime is over, especially if it hasn’t been frequently serviced.

Here are five warning signs that your heat pump is in need of repair and could eventually need to be replaced altogether.

Heat Pump Warning Signs

1. Your heat pump won’t turn on.

Your heat pump not turning on could suggest problems with the system’s connection to your thermostat or possibly a tripped breaker. Check your thermostat to make sure your heat setting is working properly and make sure all breakers are flipped into the correct position.  These are two of the more minor issues that could be affecting your heat pump.

Two other possibilities are a broken reversing valve or a broken starter capacitor. If you can still hear a clicking sound when your pump is supposed to turn on, it’s likely an issue with the starter capacitor.

The reversing valve is supposed to control the flow of hot and cold air. If the pump only turns on for one or the other, it’s possible the valve needs replacing.

If one of these last two possibilities is the issues, a professional will need to install or replace the broken parts.

2. Your heat pump is not providing heat.

A faulty reversing valve isn’t the only reason your heat pump may not be moving hot air. Another possibility is that the unit is clogged, or the air filter is potentially just extremely dirty. Try replacing your air filter and see if you notice a change.

Another possible cause is low refrigerant levels.  A professional HVAC technician can check your refrigerant levels for you and top them off if necessary.

3. Your heat pump won’t cool.

In addition to the malfunctioning reversing valve possibility, a lack of cooling performance could possibly be attributed to low refrigerant levels or the heat pump’s connection with your thermostat.

Before calling a professional you should double check to confirm your thermostat is set to cool and assess the air coming out of any vents. If there is no air, you may have to replace your thermostat or your pump, depending on the source of the problem. If the air is coming out lukewarm or almost cool, this could be due to a dirty pump or dirty air filter.

If the problem persists even after replacing your air filter, call in a professional.

4. Your heat pump is constantly running.

A faulty or miscalibrated thermostat may be to blame for a heat pump that never stops running. Unusually cold weather can also prompt your heat pump to run more than it would normally.

Another reason your heat pump may be running more than usual is a broken compressor contractor. This part controls the level of power that goes through your heat pump. If it’s broken, there is nothing controlling that power.

5. There are odd noises or strange smells coming from your heat pump.


Heat pumps make some noise even when they are working properly. You should begin to worry when the sound is less of a hum and more of a rattle or screech. This out-of-the-ordinary sound could indicate there is a part that is loose or out of place (such as the fan belt) or that there is a leak somewhere in the system. Loose cover panels can be screwed down, but any other problems may require the help of a professional.


Like in many other home repair scenarios, your nose can be your biggest asset. If something smells off near your heat pump or heat pump system, there is potentially a problem. For example, any smells of rot could indicate an animal has climbed into your system and died. A musty smell could indicate there is mold somewhere within your unit. A burning smell could be an indicator of deeper electrical or wiring problems.

If you notice any strange smells or sounds coming from your heat pump, turn it off and consult with a professional to find the source of the problem.

Heat Pump Professionals Serving Maryland, Virginia and the Greater Washington, DC Area  

If you’re in the DMV area and you suspect there could be something wrong with your heat pump, or think it’s time for a new heating and cooling solution, Vito Services is here to help you assess your heat pump options.  We’re also the local experts to call with any HVAC maintenance or repair needs you may have.

Schedule an appointment online today or call 866-792-7154.

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