Why Is My Air Conditioner Heat Mode Not Working

Is the heat mode on your air conditioner not working? Through the winter months, this can be an incredibly frustrating problem. After all, your heat pump system has one job; to keep you toasty warm! But don't worry, there are ways of troubleshooting your heat pump woes.

Although many errors could be happening with your air conditioning system, many of them are quite easy to fix, and you may be able to do it yourself without professional help.

Hopefully, by the time you've finished reading, you'll be a whizz at troubleshooting your air conditioning troubles. From how to identify the issue to dealing with it once and for all, we've got everything you need to know about fixing your heating mode right here!

So, if your heat pump isn't full of hot air, read on to find out how to fix it! Don't forget to check out our handy FAQ section as well to answer those last questions you may have.

Air Conditioning Heat Mode Explained

Most of the time, an air conditioning unit is associated with cooling, not heating. But in fact, many air con units can be used in cold weather to keep rooms toasty warm.

If you want to save a bit of money and reduce the number of units in your home, an AC unit that functions as a heat pump is a great idea. But how do they work? How does something that's designed to provide cool air also blow warm air? Spoiler alert, it's actually easier than you think!

First, the term heat pump means any appliance that moves heat from one place to another, not one that actually produces warm air. So, in that sense, freezers, refrigerators, and air conditioners are all used as heat pumps as they move the heat somewhere else, keeping the contents cold.

Essentially, a heat pump is a device that can be used for heating and cooling the same space. A heat pump works the same as any air conditioning system, except you can reverse the cycle so that it blows cold air outside and keeps the hot air inside.

How To Tell If Your Air Conditioner Heat Mode Is Not Working

The most obvious way to tell if your heating mode isn't working is if you've switched it on, but 60 minutes later, you're still freezing your socks off! However, if you're not using it that much, it can be very easy to miss any issues your unit may have. Here are some common signs to look out for.

Poor airflow

If you're noticing that the airflow from your heat pump is pretty sub-par, be sure to check your air filters. A clogged or dirty air filter can cause a lot of trouble and weak airflow could be a sign your compressor is failing.

If that's the case, you may be feeling cool air in certain rooms and not others. Whether it's a compressor or a duct issue, it's a sign that your heat pump needs some repair work.

Strange smells

Are you getting a whiff of something foul? Before you blame the dog, your heat pump could be the culprit! This can be a sign that the wire insulation has burnt out, resulting in some pretty grim smells.

Mouldy smells may indicate that you've got mould inside the ductwork or the unit itself. If so, it needs taking care of straight away as mould can be a health hazard!

Excessive noise

Well maintained and functioning heat pumps are meant to operate efficiently and quietly. If yours is creating a lot of noise, it's a sure sign that something's wrong.

If your indoor or outdoor unit is making a lot more noise than usual, it could be a problem with the fan belt, which can affect the unit's efficiency.

Reasons Why Your Air Conditioning Unit Is Not Working

So why isn't your heat pump blowing hot air when it should be? Let's take a look at some common issues that can happen.

The outdoor unit is dirty

In heating mode, the outdoor unit has to use liquid refrigerant to get heat from the air. It then sends the refrigerant indoors to heat your rooms.

But, the outdoor unit can find it hard to absorb heat if dust and other debris are blocking the airflow through the outdoor coil.

Circuit breaker issues

If the circuit breaker or fuses of the AC unit are broken or defective, then this can severely affect the heating function of your air conditioner.

You may need to switch them back on after they've been tripped or have undergone repairs. If the circuit breaker doesn't work, then the whole unit will be affected. It'll also stop the unit from reaching the set temperature.

What You Can Do To Solve The Problem

If your heat pump is experiencing any issues, don't panic, there are things you can do! For example, if you suspect that your outdoor unit is to blame, give it a good clean and ensure that nothing is blocking the airflow, such as leaves and branches.

Is your heat pump frozen? A properly working heat pump will periodically change to air conditioning mode to defrost the outdoor unit coils. Problems with the defrost mode can be caused by faulty controls or relays. The reversing valve could also be to blame.

To solve this, you can remove light ice and snow that might be blocking the unit. Whatever you do, don't use anything sharp to remove ice as the coils are super delicate and fragile. Use water from a hose to clear snow and ice.

Ultimately, if you're at all worried about the condition of your heat pump, calling in a professional is always the best thing to do. Our friendly and qualified professionals are ready to help you, whatever your heat pump needs

Time to call the experts?

If you are still having issues - it's time to call in the experts. Our Brisbane-based air conditioning repairs team are on hand to give you the assistance you need. Call us on 07 3283 5566 or fill out a quick quote to get your air con back up and running!


Why does my air conditioning unit blow cold air when the heat is on?

There could be many reasons why your indoor unit is blowing cold air instead of warm. It could be as simple as allowing the warm-up operation time to heat up.

Other possible causes include a tripped circuit breaker or that the outdoor unit has no power. If so, you may need to call a professional.

If my air conditioning does not go into heating mode, does it mean the heat pump is broken?

Not necessarily! The most common reason for heat pumps refusing to go into heating mode is because of a faulty reversing valve. This is a valve that's located along the refrigerant line, and it's responsible for changing the direction of the way the refrigerant flows.

In simple terms, this valve is what makes the heat pump different to just an air conditioning unit. Fortunately, broken reversing valves are easy to fix, and they're a commonly found component.

Can I fix My air conditioning system myself?

In some circumstances, you can. If it's a case of just giving it a clean and clearing any dust and debris, this can easily be done yourself. However, more serious technical issues are best left to the professionals.

This is because air conditioners can be complex devices, and if you're not sure what you're doing, you may end up making the problem worse! Save yourself time, stress and electric shocks and call one of our qualified technicians!

Should I have my air conditioner regularly serviced?

To prevent future problems with your heat pump, it's always a good idea to have it regularly serviced. This will help pinpoint any potential issues which the technician can repair before they get worse and become more costly!

Experiencing other issues with your air conditioner?

Read our guides below for more advice on how to fix common issues!

My air conditioner is making a loud buzzing noise

My air conditioner will not turn on

My air conditioner will not turn off

My air conditioner is sweating inside

My air conditioner is icing up

My air conditioner is blowing hot air

My air conditioner is leaking water

My air conditioner smells bad

Brisbane Air-Conditioning services you can trust

Getting started is easy. Be up and running in minutes.