5 Hidden Signs Why is Heat Pump Not Cooling Your Home5 min read

by Ben | Last Updated: October 2, 2021


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You may just want to start cooling your home, but you run into an issue where your air conditioner can’t distribute cold air.

The reason behind that is because the heat pump isn’t cooling, so it’s not lowering the temperature inside your home.

It could be just a small error in the system or the fan is completely broken – you’ll find out your situation by reading through this whole article.

But, let’s now focus on some of the most common reasons why the heat pump stopped cooling.

5 Main Factors Why Your Heat Pump Isn’t Cooling

There could be hundreds of reasons why your heat pump isn’t cooling, but I’ll list the five most common ones. Closely check each one and see if that’s what’s causing the problem for your air conditioner.

1. Thermostat

First things first, check on your thermostat if it’s set on cooling. It does sound ridiculous, but you would be surprised how many people forget about it.

It could be the case that your thermostat isn’t working properly, so you should buy a new one and replace it.

They are pretty cheap and you can get a decent one for less than $30 – not bad, right?

➡️ Check out most popular thermostats on Amazon.

The thermostat could also not communicate with the heat pump and that’s why even switching it to cooling mode won’t work.

2. Sound

Just as cars produce different sounds for different problems, it’s the same with your air conditioner.

Although I don’t expect that you can recognize where the problem is from hearing a sound, you should be aware of the weird sounds your AC is producing.

If it’s louder than usual or you hear the “scratchy sound”, it’s most likely the filters that are causing the issue.

➡️ Check out some of the quietest window air conditioners in case you want to replace it.

3. Airflow

There are different types of airflow problems.

If your AC is blowing the air at a regular power, but it isn’t cold air – it’s a problem with the air filter (explained below).

However, if there’s no air being distributed out of your vents, you probably have a problem with the air handler.

Airflow is a great measurement of how good performance your air conditioner has. 

You can see how airflow changes in this HVAC contractor’s video.

Pay attention if the airflow is the same when the heat pump is cooling and heating.

4. Dirty Air Filters

Air filters collect a lot of dust and dampness if you don’t clean them regularly. 

Dirty air filters are the most common reason why air conditioners start distributing less air – especially the cold one.

You should plug off your air conditioner, remove the grills, and clean the filters at least once a month. 

I had a similar problem where after just cleaning the filters, my air conditioner was 3x stronger (some companies would charge me $200+ for repair).

5. Valve Failed

Most people think that heat pumps make the heat, but the reality is that they just move it.

It’s the reversing valve that switches the flow to collect heat indoors and carry it outside of the home – or reverse in heating mode.

There are multiple types of valves including reversing valves, coil valves, and thermal expansion valves.

I mentioned this as the last reason because if anything above didn’t help you – it’s most likely that you need to replace your valve.

It’s the best if you leave the replacement part to professionals as this is a very complicated process that requires skill and equipment.

You should check out these simple tips if your AC isn’t cooling enough.

How Do You Reset Your Heat Pump?

Most heat pumps will display yellow or red light if you need to restart the system. 

Even if it’s showing green, sometimes you need to restart the heat pump as there’s an error in the system.

Here’s a simple step-by-step process to follow:

  1. Turn off the thermostat
  2. Now turn off the power switch (It’s usually located on the edge)
  3. Turn off all electrical breakers for the pump
  4. Lay down and wait about ten minutes
  5. Turn on everything from the third step to the first one.

In most heat pumps this will be enough for you to restart the system and have everything going smooth again (if the valves aren’t broken).

Why is my Central AC Running But Not Cooling?

If the AC is running, but not cooling inside of your home – it’s most likely that the condenser coil is blocked and can’t pull heat out of your home.

Even a dirty coil will reduce energy efficiency dramatically and cause a complete shutdown of the system.

My advice is to clean the coil by vacuuming as it’s the most efficient way of cleaning it.

In some cases, the cleaning can’t help, so it’s smart to call a professional.

How do I Know If My Heat Pump Is Low On Refrigerant?

There are several signs that will tell you the heat pump is low on refrigerant and it’s easy to notice them.

Here are the main ones:

  • Leaking – If you notice the heat pump started performing worse, there are probably leaks involved. These leaks are usually located at connector points and that’s why regular maintenance is important.
  • Ice – Ice might develop over the evaporator coil and you can’t just scrub to remove the ice. You’ll need to call someone to fix the leaks and add more refrigerant.
  • Poor Performance – If the electricity bills suddenly rise, the low refrigerant level might be the reason.
  • Weird Sound – Your AC might start producing weird noises and it’s because of the air bubbles which are produced when there’s no-to-little refrigerant.

Why Is The Fan Not Running On My Heat Pump?

The most known cause is a burned-out capacitor or that your fan motor is damaged and of poor quality.

It could be that some little stick got in the fan’s way, so it’s preventing it from spinning. If this is the case, just turn off the AC and try to move the fan manually.

However, it’s more likely that the fan burned out and you’ll need to replace it with a new one. This also happens with tower fans.

I hope you learned a couple of useful things about what to do when your heat pump isn’t cooling. 

If you find this article helpful, go ahead and read our other cooling articles that you can benefit from.

Benas Leonavicius
Hey there! I am Benas, the founder of Home Caprice. Thanks for reading the article, I hope you were able to find what you were looking for. Me together with my team, are here to simplify heating and cooling for everyone. If you want more details about the website and our team, please check the about page.