Heat pump cold weather issues are normally misunderstood. No wonder. Even the heat pump “experts” recite many well-worn heat pump myths. So let’s review the most important heat pump issues related to cold air and cold weather.

  • My heat pump blows cold air. Maybe it needs service but most likely you are noticing the difference between a gas furnace air temperature of 120 degrees and the heat pump air temperature of 85 to 100. When it’s cold outside, the heat pump air temperature will be less than 100, but even 90 degree air will warm your home to 70 or 72 or whatever you set at the thermostat. First, test your heat pump. If it is working, then the air temperature coming out of your registers is probably normal.
  • My home is cold with a heat pump. You may be one or two degrees from comfort. Think about this. You have warmed your home from the outside temperature of 10 degrees to an inside temperature of 69 and you are only two degrees short of comfort. Go ahead. Allow your comfort device to comfort your home as it was designed to do. Read more about why a heat pump thermostat needs adjusting in cold temperatures.

A heat pump is frozen in cold weather. This is not good.

  • My heat pump is frozen! If your frozen heat pump looks like this, you have problems. It is normal to see frost on your heat pump. Heat pumps  normally have frost between defrost cycles in cold weather. But if your heat pump system is not working properly in cold weather, the frost may accumulate and create solid ice. This is not normal and you should call your heat pump expert to repair your system. If the heat pump is not contributing to your winter heating in cold weather, your electric bills could double or triple.
  • My heat pump runs constantly in cold weather. Your heat pump uses only one third to one half the energy that the auxiliary electric heat uses. So by design, the heat pumps runs 24/7 to maximize your savings. If you shut it off, your electric furnace will take over and your electric bill may double. Here is a very popular blog that explains why heat pumps run all day and all night.