5 Signs Your Heat Pump Needs Service

We’re in the throes of the cold winter months in much of the country, which means many of us are spending a great deal of time thinking about our heating systems. In the U.S., roughly 40 percent of homes are heated via electric heat, rather than gas or oil.

Some electric systems encompass the more traditional baseboard or wall heaters, which are significantly less efficient than a heat pump, although cheaper in upfront costs. Heat pumps can cost more initially but are three to four times more effective at heating using the same amount of electricity. Some places even offer rebates if a heat pump upgrade is installed in a home. If you have a heat pump, then it’s important to take care of it to keep it in top shape.

Did you know heat pumps not only work overtime in the winter, but also cool the air in the summer? Because of their multiple capabilities, it’s easy to see how the heat pump can get overworked in its year-round job.

It’s important to pay close attention to appliances like your heat pump and make sure to keep up routine maintenance—about once per year—to keep them functioning properly; however, you may need to have an expert make a house call if you’re experiencing any of these issues:

Sudden Increase in Energy Bills
Unfortunately, air conditioners and heat pumps tend to use a lot of electricity. When you first install one of these appliances in your home, it’s completely normal for your electricity bills to increase; however, if your energy bill suddenly skyrockets even though your usage hasn’t changed, you might want to take a closer look at your heat pump.

Sometimes the fix for a sudden increase in energy usage is as simple as replacing the air filter to improve airflow and energy efficiency. Other reasons may require the attention of an HVAC professional. Low refrigerant charge, refrigerant overcharge or even faulty installation might be affecting your heat pump’s efficiency.

Airflow That Isn’t Flowing
In some cases, poor airflow may have something to do with your ducts. If your ducts are clean, clear and don’t have any leaks, the problem may be with the heat pump itself. Poor airflow can be caused by a number of factors, including dirty air filters, dirty coils, the outside unit may be blocked or the blower motor may be malfunctioning. While you can usually handle dirty air filters, blocked outside units and dirty coils on your own, a malfunctioning blower motor and other more technical issues are best left to the professionals.

Unusual Noises
Your heat pump may be one of the louder appliances in your home, but if the normal humming sound is interrupted by rattling, flapping, screeching or other unusual noises, it may be a sign of a problem. Loose fan belts can result in a rattling or flapping noise, while screeching is usually caused by a poorly-lubricated central air fan motor. You may even hear a bubbling sound if there is a leak in your refrigerant. If any new noises concern you, it’s best to play it safe and call your HVAC technician to check things out.

Smells That Aren’t Quite Right
Your heat pump needs immediate attention if the air coming out of the appliance smells off. Musty or rotting smells are a concern due to the implication of mold formation or an animal making its way inside your unit. Any sort of burning smell is something you should immediately act on due to potential fire hazard. A burning smell typically indicates there is something wrong with your heat pump electrically, which can quickly become dangerous. If you do smell burning coming from your unit, turn it off immediately and don’t turn it back on until an HVAC professional has examined it and fixed any problems.

The Heat Is on and You’re Still Shivering
If your heat pump is running at full blast with a steady airflow and your home is still cold, something isn’t right. The problem may be with your fan or the fan motor, or there may be an issue with the thermostat. It’s also possible that your heat pump’s electronic control board or printed circuit board assembly is malfunctioning. The thermistor, which signals the main control board to turn the compressor on or off, may be failing as well.

Routine maintenance should help keep your heat pump functioning properly, but it’s vital to never ignore any signs that your heat pump might need service. It’s always better to deal with a problem in the early stages before it gets out of control. Make sure you have a trusted HVAC professional you can contact if issues to arise. No one wants to find themselves with a broken down heat pump in the middle of the winter!

About the Author

Greg DiGiorgio is a highly reviewed Arlington MA Realtor who is a dedicated, passionate, and market-savvy professional who puts his clients’ satisfaction before all else. His attention to detail, superior people skills, broad knowledge of the real estate industry as a whole, and his pure determination to indulge his clients with first class service sets him apart. In addition to Greg being an Accredited Buyers Representative-ABR, he understands the power of creative, well-organized and highly effective marketing and offers customized marketing plans that maximize property exposure to the most qualified buyers. He has appeared several times on Fox 25 News where he was interviewed on current market trends and conditions. A real estate transaction is really about managing people, their desires and their finances. It is an intricate and consequential negotiation.

Greg understands that it is important to secure not only the most able buyer, but also to the one that is most likely to close the deal. When so much is at stake, Greg is the one you want to represent you. His fair yet aggressive negotiating style and protectiveness of his clients’ best interests and ultimately, their assets, has gained his respect with colleagues and clients alike.

Greg also knows that every transaction represents the most important purchase or sale a person can make, and he takes every precaution to ensure that communication is impeccable with all parties involved from beginning to end. Whether it’s patiently guiding first time buyers through this exciting process or following through with clients’ needs long after the transaction is over, Greg’s warm, caring yet efficient business style will turn you into a client for life.


Greg grew up in the Greater Boston area and has a deep appreciation for the North East way of life. He attended The University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing, with a concentration in Marketing Research. Greg’s professional background is rooted in the technology sales & marketing. As a result, he learned to adapt to many different people and situations quickly and competitively. The insight that he has gained from many years of involvement in bringing all components of a transaction together smoothly has granted him a unique perspective and approach to the real estate industry. His enthusiasm and tenacity has allowed him to emerge as one of Greater Boston’s finest Realtors, and one of the highest reviewed amongst Arlington MA Realtors!

My Goal

My goal is to provide the best experience possible to my clients while helping them achieve their real estate goals. My streamline systems and use of technology ensure a smooth ride along the way. Whether it’s a first-time buyer, a seller, or investor, I strive to gain lifelong clients and friends by providing them with a fun, relaxing, but yet educational experience throughout the entire process.

Objectives for my Buyer Clients

Counsel session to determine wants & needsSchedule times to view properties

Run comparable analysis report for subject property

Help negotiate terms of the offer

Provided options for home inspectors

Help negotiate & finalize terms of Purchase & Sale Agreement

Assist in finalizing finances with Mortgage Broker

Handle any other paperwork and/or tasks including meeting mortgage commitment deadlines to making sure the transaction closes on time.

I keep an open door policy with all my clients even after the sale should they have any questions, or need help with any of their real estate needs. The closing of a real estate transaction is not the end, but just the beginning of a relationship.

Objectives for my Seller Clients

Listen carefully to make sure your goals and objectives are clearly understood

Explain the home selling process thoroughly

Discuss agency relationship

Price your home accurately

Stage your home for sale

Plan & implement a proven & innovative marketing plan

Work diligently to sell your home quickly and efficiently

Follow up with open house leads & showing brokers to obtain feedback

Work hard to ensure that each step of the transaction is running smoothly

To ensure that all smoke & carbon monoxide detectors are installed and working correctly, and to obtain certificate from town/city

To obtain final payoff for city/town water bill

“Most Importantly to communicate with you consistently and efficiently throughout the entire home selling process”

Certifications and Recognitions

Winner of Leading Edge Real Estate’s Outstanding Creative Marketing Award. Certified Residential Specialist (CRS)

Accredited Buyers Representative (ABR)

Member of the Institute of Luxury Home Marketing (ILHM)

Licensed Massachusetts Real Estate Broker

Member of Greater Boston Real Estate Board (GBREB)

Member of National Association of REALTORS (NAR)

Zoning & Building Codes Certificate

Residential New Construction Certificate

Title V Certificate