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AAction Air Conditioning & Heating Co. Blog

What Usually Fails on a Heat Pump?


Your heat pump is an energy-efficient work of modern mechanical art, but it’s not without problems. The hard part is knowing what’s wrong when your heat pump finally encounters a problem. How do you self-diagnose the problem?

While it’s always best to get professional heat pump repair in Atlanta, GA from a licensed professional, it’s also helpful to know what you’re dealing with before you pick up the phone. This is how you can tell what’s going on with your heat pump.

Compressor Contactor

Ever hear your compressor kick on? That’s thanks to the contractor. This allows a high voltage to surge into the compressor and starts its initial cycle.

If your compressor contactor isn’t working properly, you’ll know because your heat pump will run constantly. It doesn’t shut off, and it’s not doing its job even while it runs. In fact, sometimes you can’t shut it off.

When this component fails you, it’s time to call a professional to replace it. There’s no DIY solution to this one.

Starter Capacitor

Now let’s take that previous problem and flip it on its head: instead of your heat pump running constantly, what if it doesn’t even start up in the first place?

That’s what happens when your starter capacitor fails, or if you received a faulty unit during the heat pump’s manufacturing process.

When your starter capacitor fails, it creates immediate panic that your entire heat pump is broken. If the starter capacitor is dead and your unit is regularly maintained, the issue may not be as big as it seems at first.


Sometimes your heat pump can short cycle, and that’s an immediate cause for concern. Short cycling is an electrical problem, but it doesn’t have to mean that something is broken. It could be your thermostat.

If your heat pump isn’t working properly, it could just be that it’s not receiving the right information from the thermostat. Or in fact, it could be receiving nothing at all. Your heat pump might be fine; get that thermostat checked out.

Reversing Valve

Your heat pump isn’t switching from one mode to the other. You’re putting in the right request on your thermostat, you know the thermostat works, but the machine itself just won’t switch.

There’s a reversing valve that allows it to switch between heating and cooling modes. If this is damaged to the point that it doesn’t change, you need a technician. There’s a chance that your valve may just be stuck and won’t require anything more than a tune-up.

Your Heat Pump Needs Help

While some parts are known to go out more than others (because it would be a statistical anomaly for all heat pump parts to fail at the same rate and in the same numbers), heat pumps don’t necessarily have a “most common part to fail” award.

Annual maintenance and inspections for your heat pump will be enough to monitor which heat pump components are struggling. Your technician will be able to guide you further after inspecting your particular unit.

Your Neighborhood Recommends AAction Air Conditioning & Heating Co. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with our professionals!

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