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Why Is My Heat Pump Not Blowing Hot Air?

You’re in a jam. Florida’s weather is getting a bit nippy, but your heat pump isn’t giving you the sweet heat you desire.

What’s the deal?

There are 4 usual causes of a heat pump not blowing warm air:

  • Low refrigerant charge
  • Outside unit is dirty/can’t breath
  • Dirty air filter
  • You’re body is tricking you (we’ll explain below)

Here’s why these issues prevent the heat pump from blowing hot air—and what you can do about them.

You’re in a jam. Florida’s weather is getting a bit nippy, but your heat pump isn’t giving you the sweet heat you desire.

What’s the deal?

There are 4 usual causes of a heat pump not blowing warm air:

  • Low refrigerant charge
  • Outside unit is dirty/can’t breath
  • Dirty air filter
  • You’re body is tricking you (we’ll explain below)

Here’s why these issues prevent the heat pump from blowing hot air—and what you can do about them.

1) Low refrigerant charge

The heat pump needs refrigerant to transfer heat.

In summer your heat pump uses the refrigerant to transfer heat from inside your home to outside. In colder weather, it just reverses the process, bringing heat from outside to inside your home.

Here’s the problem: If your heat pump is low on refrigerant, it’s having a hard time transferring enough heat into your home to warm the air properly.

The fix: Call a heat pump technician to check your refrigerant charge. If you’re low, then you also probably have a refrigerant leak that needs fixing.

2) Outside unit is dirty/can’t breath

When your heat pump is on heat mode, the outside unit absorbs heat from the air using refrigerant. The unit then sends the warm refrigerant to the inside unit where it heats your inside air.

But the outside unit can’t absorb enough heat if it’s:

  • Dirty
  • Covered in leaves/grass
  • Surrounded by a barrier (like a fence)

The fix: Clear away any debris or anything that’s obstructing airflow around the outside unit. To get rid of any dirt on the condenser coil (the part that absorbs heat), buy a foaming coil cleaner and use it alongside a water sprayer.

You can also call a heat pump technician for maintenance to clean the outside unit.

3) Dirty air filter

When your air filter gets too dirty, it starts blocking airflow to the evaporator coil (the part that actually heats the air when the heat pump is on “heat” mode.) You’ll know if a dirty air filter is the issue if there’s very little air coming out your air vents.

The fix: Check the filter and change it if it’s dirty.

Side note: Does your family have allergy issues? Check out your options for air filters that can improve your indoor air quality.

4) Your body is tricking you

Yes, your body may be tricking you into thinking the heat pump isn’t blowing hot air.

Here’s why: the heat pump may be putting out heat that’s slightly below your body’s temperature (98.6 degrees F, just FYI). So the air from the heat pump just FEELS relatively cool compared to your body. But it is definitely still heating your home.

The colder it gets outside, the colder the air from a heat pump will feel. That’s because the heat pump is having a hard time pulling heat from the outside air.

If outside temperatures get below 40 degrees, an auxiliary heating coil will kick on, and you’ll feel warm again.

The fix: Wrap up! Blankets. Thick socks. The works.

Need professional help?

Try changing the filter and cleaning the outside unit first.

If that does not work, you most likely need a technician’s help. While low refrigerant may be the issue, it could be other technical issues as well, like a malfunctioning compressor or reversing valve.

Whatever it is, we can find the issue and fix it.

Do you live in the Sarasota, Bradenton, Tampa or Port Charlotte area?

Talk to one of our experts for help.