Why Isn’t My Heat Pump Working?

What to do when your heat pump isn’t working

A heat pump, as part of a central heating and cooling system, uses the outside air to both heat a home in winter and cool it in summer. Technically, a heat pump is a mechanical-compression cycle refrigeration system that can be reversed to either heat or cool a controlled space.

Install a new heat pump

Installation for this type of system typically consists of two parts: an indoor unit called an air handler and an outdoor unit similar to a central air conditioner, but referred to as a heat pump. A compressor circulates refrigerant that absorbs and releases heat as it travels between the indoor and outdoor units.

Think of a heat pump as a heat transporter constantly moving warm air from one place to another, to where it’s needed or not needed, depending on the season. For example, when it’s cold outside, a heat pump extracts this outside heat and transfers it inside. When it’s warm outside, it reverses directions and acts like an air conditioner, removing heat from your home.

Pros and cons of installing a heat pump

One advantage of a heat pump is that it moves heat instead of generating heat, giving you more energy efficiency. Note that heat pumps are best for moderate climates, and a supplemental heating source, such as a gas fireplace, may be needed for lower temperatures.

A Leinbach Services technician can help you choose the right heat pump system when your heat pump isn’t working.

When your heat pump isn’t working, here’s how Leinbach Services takes care of you:

What happens during a heat pump replacement:

When you already know you need a heat pump replacement, then our dispatcher, Lynn, will schedule a free in-home design consultation.


How to know when it’s time to replace your heat pump:

  • It’s old
  • Its outdated
  • A technician told you it’s time to replace it

What happens during an heat pump design consultation?

Leinbach Services provides real assurance that your new central air unit gets installed correctly for increasing amounts of efficiency and comfort.

A unit that's been incorrectly installed results in damp humid indoor air, poor airflow, shortened lifespan of the unit, and higher power bills. When we come to your home for your free heat pump design consultation, we're going to inspect your current system and talk about how we can increase the performance of your home. Here's exactly what we're looking at:

  • Properly designed and sized unit: We'll determine the correct size of the unit for your space in order to optimize the unit's performance. Ultimately, the best path to comfort and savings is finding an air conditioning unit that actually fits your home. One that isn’t powerful enough won’t effectively cool your home and will inflate your power bill. One that is too powerful will work too quickly, shutting off before most of the humidity has been removed, leaving you cool but clammy.


  • Evaluate and improve ductwork: Leaky ducts waste energy and money as it reduces the amount of conditioned air flow. We'll inspect your ductwork by testing for leakage, then based on that information, we'll talk about making necessary repairs to meet or exceed performance standards.


  • Optimize airflow: Certain seasons encourage high levels of humidity, so by supplying a constant supply of ventilation, you'll free the air from excessive amounts of moisture in the air. Lack of humidity control in our local humid climate can lead to mold growth causing moisture-related health problems.


SEER Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio

Substantial energy savings can be obtained from installing an energy efficient heat pump. Before you purchase a new heat pump, ask about the SEER rating. It’s called Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER).  The higher SEER rating an air conditioner has, the more energy-efficient it is. The more cooling/heating a system puts out for each unit of energy it consumes, the higher rating it will receive.

For example, if you upgrade from SEER 9 to SEER 13 (the lowest allowable SEER for a split-system air source heat pump is currently 13 in the United States), then your energy consumption is reduced by 30%. This can result in an energy savings valued at up to $300 per year, plus the added bonus of reducing your footprint on the Earth!

Systems granted the coveted Energy Star level, the SEER rating has to exceed 14.5. However, for ideal efficiency at an affordable heat pump price, look for ratings between 16-18.


HSFP (Heating Seasonal Factor Performance)

HSFP calculates the ratio of energy pumped indoors for heating to energy used for heating. The minimum HSPF rating for a split-system air-source heat pump is 7.7 in the United States. Energy Star models are at least 8.2.  In Kingsport, we use heating more than cooling, so the HSFP rating is more important than the SEER. Look for a heat pump with an HSFP rating between 8 and 10 for the best local heating cost factor.


Sizing the heat pump unit appropriately


The size of a heat pump unit is called a ton or tonnage. Tonnage is the unit of measure used to describe the conditioning capacity. One ton of cooling is based on the amount of heat needed to melt one ton (2000 lbs.) of ice in a 24 hour period. Size is very important to optimal operation, but don’t worry about trying to figure it out yourself. Our technicians will size your heat pump appropriate for your home. As a matter of fact, our technicians always perform a check called heat-loss-heat-gain in every home before installing or replacing a heating and air conditioning system.

Experience fresh air

Compressor with variable speed operation

Replace your outdated heating and air conditioning unit for one with variable speed.

Variable speed gives breakthrough energy savings. By varying the speed of the compressor, your heating and cooling system is better able to efficiently heat or cool your home. As a result, your system operates more efficiently at light loads, while still being capable of delivering full capacity under extreme temperatures. The one you probably own now kicks on full steam ahead to cool your home, then stops completely. Thus, the air remains stagnant in-between the times the heat pump turns on.

With a variable speed compressor, the unit continuously runs gently while maintaining fresh air and comfortable temperature.



100% satisfaction of your new heat pump or you'll get your money back. That's the Leinbach Services guarantee.


What happens during a heat pump repair:

Sometimes as homeowners we say, “I don’t have any heat!” We often get calls about a heat pump making a different noise.  Maybe you’ve just noticed that the thermostat is not working. When you call Leinbach Services, our dispatcher, Lynn, will schedule a diagnostic call for $69. A technician then comes out to your house and he’ll take a look at your heat pump system. The fee is a flat rate. So, whether it takes him 3 hours or 30 minutes, you’ll know what’s wrong and what’s your next step to get comfortable again. If you hire Leinbach Services to repair or replace your heat pump, then we’ll take off the cost of the diagnostic fee.

What happens during routine heat pump maintenance:

Easiest fix for energy efficiency is as simple as a tune-up. Up to 50% of your home’s energy bill is from your heating and air conditioning system. If it’s not running correctly, you’re losing money to the power company and needlessly draining energy resources. If our technician finds something wrong, we’ll let you know. Otherwise, you can expect to have an uneventful season. Of course, it’s not a guarantee. It’s just like getting maintenance on your car.

Or you can sign up to win a free heat pump!

Meet the winners of the 2018 heat pump giveaway

Read their stories and share in their joy of winning a brand new heat pump from Leinbach Services. 

The Liang Family of Kingsport are the winners of our 5th annual heat pump giveaway in November 2018.

Richard and Charmaine Liang bought a house and quickly realized they needed a new heat pump. They suffered an entire winter last year with insufficient heat.

“Our home is not warm enough,” Charmaine said. “Sometimes it heats, but sometimes it doesn’t. We just bought the house last year, so we cannot afford a new heat pump.” Richard agreed.

Charmaine also said that even though their house was cold, their winter electrical bills were still expensive. “We would save a lot of money with a new heat pump.”

The fact that their unit was 15 years old has a lot to do with the reason why they were spending so much on electricity yet receiving such little heat in return.

Rosemary Cox in Blountville, TN won in 2017

Rosemary gave Jim Leinbach a big hug just moments after she won the heat pump giveaway.

“Winning a new heat pump took so much stress off of me,” said Rosemary. “You do not know how I sat here and worried about that unit going out. I thought about it all the time. My son looked at it a couple of times, but he didn’t know what to do about it other than pray. We had been praying.”

Congrats Rosemary! We hope you enjoy your new heat pump!

Our very first heat pump giveaway winner

Dorothy Pruitt cried happy tears in November 2014.

The sign out front of Dorothy Pruitt’s home says it all: WINNER. She won our very first heat pump giveaway! Previously, she kept her family warm with only a kerosene heater in one room.

Dorothy was deeply touched by her daughter's thoughtfulness to sign her up and to us for providing heat throughout her home. Even to this day, Dorothy and her family express gratitude for Leinbach Services.

“I still can't believe that I won the heat and cooling system that year,” Dorothy said. “It has been such a blessing to me and my family. I pray everyday for Jim Leinbach and his business to be blessed as he has blessed me and others over the years. Thank you all for listening to the Lord for the need I had.”

Benefits of winning a new heat pump

  • Obvious lowered energy usage
  • Decreased utility bills
  • Increasing your level of comfort
  • Avoiding costly repairs

Congrats Tiffany!

The winner heat pump giveaway in November 2015 was announced on Good Day Tri-Cities on WPKT-TV. Tiffany Arroyo of Kingsport, TN.

After the Arroyo’s heat pump broke, the family of six used space heaters to keep their four children warm at home. Tiffany watched an episode of the local daytime news show and entered to win a free heat pump.

Her husband, Jeff, was home when the Leinbach Services truck and the TV station car pulled up, and he described feeling thankful and relieved when he realized they had won the heat pump.

“This makes quite a bit of difference for my family,” said Jeff. “This will make our electricity bill cheaper since we’re not using space heaters anymore. We’ll be comfortable.”

Can't wait to win?

Need to replace your heat pump now? If you purchase a new heat pump from us this year, you'll receive a voucher at time of install. It'll state the total amount of reimbursement in case you were to win the giveaway. Just in case you're not the winner this year, you're always a winner being a customer of Leinbach Services because we offer free in-home design consultation AND 100% Satisfaction Money Back Guarantee

Congrats Kimberly!

The Beal Family stays warm after winning the heat pump giveaway in November 2016.

During freezing cold temperatures, Mickey Beal went outside and chipped ice off the outdoor unit to get it to work. That was before his wife, Kimberly, won our 2016 heat pump giveaway.

“We tell everybody we know about Leinbach Services,” Kimberly Beal said. “This is a very big deal. We appreciate you.”

After installing the Beal’s new heat pump, Kimberly raved about the process from start to finish on our Facebook page.

“Leinbach Services Inc. installed our new, FREE heat pump last week! We are so very thankful to have won this!! What a wonderful blessing these people have been. We have met the owner of the company, the marketing director, several technicians, spoken with the receptionist several times and have been highly impressed with everyone at Leinbach Services! They have superior customer service and have gone above and beyond our expectations!”

Giveaway details

  • Giveaway is for the same size unit that is currently installed. Any extra will be billed time and materials. To get a higher SEER, bigger (ton) unit, gas unit, extra ductwork or any other additions, it will be priced before the install.
  • No cash value.
  • Visit this year's heat pump giveaway page for giveaway package details. 

You could be this year's winner!

Giveaway eligibility

  • Owner occupied home in Tennessee
  • Within 25 miles of any of our Tennessee locations (there will be a small labor and mileage charge if you are outside the 25 miles)
  • Any additional charges must be paid at the time of install
  • The winner of the new heat pump will have 30 days to have it scheduled to be installed or new winner will be drawn
  • Leinbach Services, Inc. has the right to change, update, and/or revise the rules of the giveaway
  • Winner will be emailed to make an appointment to come out to do a scope of work before the new unit is installed
  • Drawing for giveaway will be in November 2018
  • The winner will be announced (Name, City, State) on our social media outlets (Facebook,  Google+ and others), on our website and other media.
  • The winner of the giveaway agrees to "before and after" pictures of the heating system and themselves.
  • The winner will sign a release form to allow Leinbach Services, Inc. the use of the photos on their website and for all other promotional use.

You're important to us

Experience the professional and excellent customer service with Leinbach Services, Inc.

  • Award winning customer service
  • No hidden fees because our technicians provide a written estimate of the cost before project begins.
  • We take the wait out of service by calling an hour before arriving.
  • You'll never have to clean up after our technicians.

100% satisfaction money back guarantee

If you aren't satisfied with your new heating and air conditioning system, we'll either repair the problem to your satisfaction or remove it and refund the purchase price. Within one year of purchase date. All of this is subject to the conditions and limitations listed on our 100% satisfaction money back guarantee page.

Affordable payment options

Start the credit approval process today with only a 15 minute phone call to our dispatcher. Get pre-approved for the most affordable payment options for your budget through our incredibly easy financing. We also accept all major credit cards.

Professional HVAC services by Leinbach Services:

Make home ownership and property management easier with Leinbach Services, Inc. We cover all home and building maintenance needs regarding heating and air conditioning services in Johnson City. Call our office and ask about our preventative maintenance program Comfort Club for peace of mind. Then, find out how you can make cash through our customer rewards program, called Referral Club. Thanks for using Leinbach Services for all of your heating and cooling needs.

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