4 Common Heat Pump Problems And What You Should Do

Heat pumps are a common, energy-efficient alternative to traditional furnaces and air conditioners, especially in locales like St. Catharines. They work by transferring heat rather than creating it, making them a cost-effective solution for both heating and cooling your home. However, like all machines, they are not devoid of problems.

In this blog post, we’ll delve into four common heat pump problems that homeowners often encounter. We’ll outline the potential causes for these issues and provide advice on what you should do when faced with them. Our expertise at Niagara Home Heating allows us to give you valuable insights, shedding light on how you can keep your heat pump functioning at peak efficiency. Stay with us to learn more about tackling common heat pump problems.

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Reduced Heating Efficiency

One of the most common issues homeowners face with their heat pumps is reduced heating efficiency. If you notice that your home isn’t as warm as it should be, your heat pump might be struggling to extract heat from the outside air. Several factors could contribute to this problem, such as a dirty or clogged air filter, refrigerant issues, or a malfunctioning thermostat.


  • Start by checking and replacing the air filter regularly, as a dirty filter can restrict airflow and reduce the system’s efficiency.
  • Make certain that the outdoor unit remains clear of debris and vegetation to ensure optimal airflow.
  • If the problem persists, it’s advisable to contact a professional like Niagara Home Heating to inspect the refrigerant levels and thermostat functionality. Our professional technicians can identify and resolve any underlying issues affecting your heat pump’s efficiency.

Inconsistent Heating

If you’re experiencing uneven heating in different areas of your home, your heat pump may be struggling to distribute warm air effectively. This issue can be caused by factors such as a malfunctioning blower motor, ductwork problems, or an incorrectly sized heat pump.


  • Check for any visible leaks or blockages in the ductwork, as these can impede airflow and lead to inconsistent heating.
  • If the blower motor is malfunctioning, it may need to be repaired or replaced.
  • In some cases, inadequate heat output may be attributed to an incorrectly sized heat pump. A professional technician from Niagara Home Heating can assess your home’s heating needs and recommend an appropriately sized unit for optimal performance.

Ice Buildup on the Outdoor Unit

During colder temperatures, it’s normal for a thin layer of frost to form on the outdoor unit of your heat pump. However, if you notice extensive ice buildup, it could indicate a more severe problem. Common causes include restricted airflow, low refrigerant levels, or a faulty defrost control system.


  • Inspect the surroundings of the outdoor unit for any potential obstructions that could impede the free flow of air. Clear away snow, ice, or debris to promote proper ventilation.
  • If the issue persists, it’s essential to call the experts at Niagara Home Heating to inspect refrigerant levels and evaluate the functionality of the defrost control system. Low refrigerant levels can be indicative of a leak, which requires professional attention to identify and repair.

Heat Pump Doesn’t Turn On

A heat pump that fails to turn on can be a cause for concern, especially during the colder months. A variety of factors, such as power supply problems, incorrect thermostat settings, or a tripped circuit breaker, can trigger this issue.


  • First, ensure that the power supply to the heat pump is active and check if the circuit breaker has tripped. If it has, reset it.
  • Verify that your thermostat settings are correct and that it’s programmed to the heat mode.
  • If the heat pump still doesn’t turn on, consider calling Niagara Home Heating for a professional inspection. There could be a more severe issue at hand, such as a faulty start capacitor or motor, which requires professional expertise to diagnose and fix. Regular maintenance and prompt attention to the matter can prevent such problems and help ensure the long-term efficiency of your heat pump.

Keep Your Heat Pump Running Smoothly with Niagara Home Heating

Maintaining a comfortable home during the winter relies heavily on the efficient functioning of your heat pump. If you encounter any of the common problems mentioned above, don’t hesitate to call Niagara Home Heating for prompt and professional assistance. With years of experience, our team can quickly diagnose and resolve any heat pump issues, allowing you to enjoy a warm and cozy home throughout the winter season.

Additionally, we also offer financing options and regular maintenance services to ensure your heat pump remains in top shape throughout the year. Contact us today to schedule an appointment or for any further inquiries regarding heat pumps in St. Catharines, ON, and the surrounding areas.