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Kilowatt Heating, Air Conditioning and Electrical Blog

A Few Heat Pump Malfunctions You Might Run Into


We think heat pumps are excellent choices for Southern California homes. They can work year-round meeting the cooling and heating demands of a house, and because of our mild winters, they don’t suffer from efficiency issues when in heating mode (a problem heat pumps can encounter in extremely cold climates). 

If you have a heat pump for your house, we want you to enjoy its benefits for as long as possible. Below are a few of the more common heat pump malfunctions you may see that can interfere with your comfort and the heat pump’s energy efficiency. Turn to our professionals to handle the repairs that will solve these troubles. 

The heat pump won’t switch modes

This is one of the more common troubles with heat pumps: when the thermostat is adjusted to change the heat pump from heating to cooling or vice versa, it instead remains in whatever mode it was already in. There are several possible causes of this, such as a broken reversing valve (the key component that changes a heat pump from one mode to the other by altering the direction the refrigerant moves). Technicians can replace a broken reversing valve to fix this.

Low levels of cooling or heating

Heat pumps use the same process to provide heat to a home as they do for cooling: the circulation of refrigerant between two sets of coils. If you notice a drop in either heating or cooling, it’s likely that both modes are experiencing a similar decline. The trouble may be with dirty refrigerant coils, either indoors or outdoors, a clogged air filter, or refrigerant leaks. Change the filter first to see if that fixes the trouble. If it doesn’t, call for repairs to find the cause of the problem. Leaking refrigerant is a serious issue that needs to be addressed before it causes damage to the compressor.


A heat pump is said to be short-cycling if it isn’t completing a full cooling or heating cycle and shutting down early, then turning back on again a short time later. A full cycle should last 15 minutes or more. If you notice your heat pump is shutting down after only 10 minutes or less, and it goes through multiple short cycles per hour, it’s short-cycling. This inflicts major wear on the heat pump’s parts and wastes large amounts of energy, so call for professional repairs to remedy it as soon as possible.

No heating or cooling

Sometimes you’ll have a heat pump that’s only putting out room temperature air, no matter how you set the thermostat. This might come from a clogged filter, but the most likely cause is something is wrong with the compressor. If the blower fan isn’t coming on either, the problem may be electrical. Please don’t hesitate to call us to get your heat pump back in working order.

Because heat pumps are complex refrigerators systems, they require professionals to repair them. We don’t advise you open up any part of your heat pump and use tools to try to fix it when it malfunctions. Just reach out to our technicians for fast heat pump repair in Van Nuys, CA and the surrounding area.

Call our certified service technicians 24/7 for exceptional customer service! Kilowatt Heating, Air Conditioning and Electrical serves Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley.

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