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bullet Commonly Reported HVAC Problems:


My heat pump is iced-up, mine blows cold air. My pilot goes out. Do you know what to do?You have problems? We have answers! Hannabery HVAC
Commonly Reported HVAC Problems:
[Copyright © 1996-2014. Hannabery HVAC. All rights reserved.]

Heat pump never quite reaches temperature:

Heat pump never reaches temperature, runs too much

In the Heating Mode:

In other words... if you set your thermostat for 71 degrees in the winter and your house only seems to get up to 69 degrees. This problem/situation is very common and it generates many service calls. And sometimes this is caused by a genuine problem, but unfortunately, in extremely cold weather, even a properly working heat pump may have trouble maintaining desired temperature.

Why is this? When it gets below a certain temperature, in our area - around 35 degrees, a heat pump loses efficiency and cannot keep up with the heat loss of the structure. When the temperature in the house drops approximately 2 degrees below room temperature, supplemental heat comes on to assist the heat pump (usually in the form of electric resistance heaters). When it gets to within 1.5 degrees of room temperature, the back-up heat cycles off and the heat pump continues running; trying to reach temperature, but cannot. This usually happens when the temperature is at it's coldest - 0 to 30 degrees.

This is however, the way heat pumps are designed to operate. Even though they don't put out a lot of heat into the house, and they run for long periods of time, they are still quite efficient.

So, if it is very cold out and you desire your house to be a certain temperature, you might have to raise your thermostat by 2 degrees to maintain it. Now, if it isn't extremely cold out (above 35 degrees), and your heat pump is not maintaining temperature, this indicates a problem!

Below is a list of possible causes. Items in red usually require a service call. Items in blue however can be addressed, some even fixed by the homeowner.

Red = Professional fix | Blue = Homeowner fix
toolbox for heating and air conditioning service and repairs
  • Thermostat not calibrated/not level/faulty
  • Low refrigerant charge
  • Refrigerant flow-related problem - restriction/bad metering device
  • Poor efficiency- needs cleaning and servicing
  • Bad reversing valve
  • Bad compressor valves
  • Compressor not running
  • Outdoor unit iced-up
  • Snow drift against outdoor unit
  • Outdoor unit not running
  • Return duct leakage - pulling in cold, unconditioned air
  • Open windows/poorly insulated house

The bottom five causes in blue are commonly found problems and can be addressed by the homeowner.

Here is a checklist to go through before requesting a service call:

  • Make sure your outdoor heat pump is actually running, and that the indoor unit isn't just cycling on the back-up heat.
  • If your outdoor heat pump is not running, please see: "Outdoor unit won't come on".

If not reaching temperature in the Cooling Mode, please see:

Not Cooling

Please keep in mind that the information found on our website is provided free of charge and Hannabery HVAC does not assume any liability resulting from the information we provide. We hope this information helps, but please note that these are just rough guidelines, and not all possible situations are covered. Your HVAC system should be inspected and repaired by a trained technician.

Commonly Reported HVAC Problems


How Comfortable Do You Want To Be?

Call us at 1-800-544-HEAT

[Must be in our service area]


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Our Credentials
BBB Accredited Business with A-plus rating, Allentown, Quakertown, Clarks Summit NATE-certified Service Technicians, Lehigh Valley, Lehigh County SuperPages SuperGuarantee Rheem equipment, Rheem dealer, Rheem installer, allentown, bethlehem, easton, pa Member of Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Eastern PA Chapter Trane Comfort Specialist Dealer Member - Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce Angie's List 2012 Super Service Award Winner
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Main Office: 200 Schantz Road, Allentown, PA 18104

PA CONTRACTOR #8215

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Copyright © 1996-2014. Hannabery HVAC. All rights reserved.

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Hannabery HVAC has been proudly serving Eastern Pennsylvania homeowners and businesses for over 40 years. Our work areas include: