Most heat pumps start to get issues during the winter months when they’re working hard to keep your home warm.

You might start to notice your heat pump making strange noises, not heating as well as it used to, or short cycling (turning on and off more frequently than normal).

If you’re starting to have issues with your heat pump, it’s important to get them addressed as soon as possible.

If you wait too long, the issue could worsen and lead to a complete breakdown of your heat pump.

You will also be without central heating and hot water during the cold winter months, which is obviously not ideal.

When the temperatures drop below 25°F for most heat pumps, they stop operating.

The greater the temperature range difference between indoors and outdoors, the more effective a heat pump is.

When outdoor temperatures drop to 40°F, heat pumps begin to lose efficiency, and they need additional energy to perform their jobs.

What Temperature Does A Heat Pump Stop Working?

Between 25 and 40 degrees is the temperature range where a heat pump typically starts to have issues.

Under 25 degrees, most heat pumps will stop working altogether.

How cold do heat pumps work?

Heat pumps that run on ambient air, such as geothermal or solar heat, are called “air source heat pumps.” They work at low temperatures (below 20 degrees Fahrenheit), and they can function effectively even colder.

In most cases, a heat pump will create a temperature difference of 15-20°F greater than the current air temperature in heat mode. The air temperature from a heat pump can differ based on your heat pump’s age and condition.

Will a heat pump work at 20 degrees?

Yes, air-source heat pumps work below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, but they become less efficient the colder it gets outside.

The Best Temperature For Your Heat Pump In Winter

The best temperature for your heat pump in the winter will vary based on the make and model of your heat pump.

As a general rule of thumb, you should set your heat pump to the lowest temperature that is comfortable for you.

This will help ensure that your heat pump is working as efficiently as possible and help prevent any issues.

What is the best temperature for heat pump in winter?

The ideal room temperature for most people is 68°F, according to the Department of Energy. During the fall and winter months, 68°F is considered the sweet spot that balances comfort and energy efficiency.

When in The Life Do you Start Having problems With Heat Pumps?

The average time when things start to go wrong is 10 to 15 years.

But, with proper maintenance, many heat pumps last much longer.

How Often Should Heat Pumps Be Serviced?

Ideally, you should have your heat pump serviced at least once a year by a qualified MCS installer.

During the service, the installer will check for any wear and tear and perform any necessary maintenance.

It’s also a good idea to have your heat pump serviced if you start to notice any issues, such as strange noises or reduced heating capacity.

How can I extend the life of my heat pump?

There are a few things you can do to extend the life of your heat pump, such as:

  • Schedule annual maintenance services.
  • Keep the area around your heat pump clean and free of debris.
  • Make sure your thermostat is set to the lowest comfortable temperature in the winter.
  • Don’t use space heaters, which can put unnecessary strain on your heat pump.
  • Invest in a quality MCS-certified heat pump.

By following these tips, you can help ensure that your heat pump will last for many years to come.


What usually fails on a heat pump?

Low refrigerant levels, dirty air filters or coils, and a faulty thermostat are all possible reasons for your heat pump not to be working. Also, check your outdoor unit for blockage since leaves and debris can accumulate in the system and prevent it from operating efficiently.

How often do heat pumps defrost?

Heat pumps defrost roughly every 35 minutes depending on the make and model.

Should I leave my heat pump on all the time?

You should never turn your heat pump off completely. However, you can turn it down when you’re not home or when the temperature outside is mild. If you have a smart heat pump, you can even set it to turn off and on based on your schedule.

Does a problem heat pump affect the underfloor heating?

Yes, if your heat pump is having issues it will also affect your underfloor heating. This is because the heat pump is responsible for circulating the warm air through the system.
If your heat pump is not working properly, your underfloor heating will not work as efficiently as it should.

What is the most common reason for low refrigerant charge?

Leaks in the line or in the compressor are common causes of high refrigerant. Because refrigerant usually evaporates as it escapes, you won’t notice any drips. Instead, the first indicator you’ll have that your refrigerant is running out will be frost over your indoor coils.

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Passionate about helping households transition to sustainable energy with helpful information and resources.

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