At What Temperature Do Heat Pumps Become Ineffective? | Aquarius Home Services

At What Temperature Do Heat Pumps Become Ineffective?

A heat pump’s temperature range is an essential factor when it comes to keeping your home comfortable year-round. Heat pumps transfer warm air from one place to another and can provide efficient cooling during the summer months and heating in winter.

As a homeowner, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the basic elements of your heat pump system, including the temperature it becomes ineffective. Here’s a closer look:

Types of Heat Pumps

There are three main types of heat pumps, each with a different temperature range where they perform at optimal efficiency.

Air Source Heat Pumps

heat pump temperature range installing best hvac

These systems pump heat from the outdoor air temperature into your home during the winter months and reverse this process to provide cooling in the summer. Of the three types of heat pumps, air-source systems have the broadest operating temperature range, between -13°F and 90°F (-25°C to 32°C).

Geothermal (Ground Source) Heat Pumps

This system uses energy stored in underground pipes buried deep beneath your home’s surface to provide cooling and heating throughout all four seasons. The ground source heat pump has an even broader working temperature range than the natural gas air-source system, between -40°F and 140°F (-40°C to 60°C).

Water Source Heat Pumps

These systems use water from a nearby lake or pond as the winter heat source and summer heat sink. The temperature of the water source determines the operating temperature range for this type of heat pump. This is typically between 45°F and 90°F (7°C and 32°C).

At What Temperature Do Heat Pumps Become Ineffective?

Ultimately, the efficiency of heat pump systems depends on their temperature range, which is determined by the type of system you have. Most air-source and water-source heat pumps will become less efficient when temperatures drop below their respective ranges. That is -13°F (air source heat pump) or 45°F (water source).

Geothermal systems are designed to be more resistant to extreme cold weather but can still become ineffective if temperatures dip too low. For geothermal heat pumps, the ideal working temperature range is between 40°F and 75°F (4°C and 24°C).

In general, heat pumps and gas furnaces tend to become less efficient when temperatures fall below their respective ranges. Therefore, it’s essential to be aware of the temperature range for your type of system and take steps to ensure optimal performance during colder months.

Common Problems with Heat Pump Temperature Range

Here’s a closer look at common problems plus potential solutions related to your heat pump’s temperature range.

Low Refrigerant Levels

heat pump temperature range dealing with low refrigerant

Heat pumps rely on refrigerant to transfer heat from one place to another. If the refrigerant levels in the system are inadequate, it can impede heat transfer, leading to sub-optimal performance and cooler temperatures than expected. Fixing this issue requires the services of a professional technician.

Dirty or Blocked Filters

The air filter helps keep dirt and debris out of your system, which can reduce your backup heating system efficiency over time if they become clogged up. Regularly replacing or cleaning these filters is essential for maintaining optimal performance from your heat pump, so check them periodically and replace them when necessary.

Faulty Thermostat Settings

If the thermostat settings are not correctly configured, it will be unable to ascertain how hot or cold your home should be. This results in inaccurate temperature readings, affecting the heat pump efficiency. Ensure all settings are adjusted correctly before using other troubleshooting methods for better results. Inspect and recharge your system with the correct amount of refrigerant.

Tips for Maintaining Optimal Heat Pump Temperature Range

Here are a few tips for ensuring your heat pump performs at its best throughout the seasons:

Monitor the Heat Pump

The first step in maintaining an optimal heat pump temperature range is to monitor the system regularly. This means checking for any signs of wear and tear, such as leaks or cracks. Additionally, it’s essential to check for blockages or obstructions that can prevent air from flowing freely through the system.

Clean Filters Regularly

heat pump temperature range cleaning out filters

Dirty filters can cause an increase in energy consumption and reduce the efficiency of your heat pump system. To keep your system running at its best, clean or replace filters every three months (or more often if necessary).

Adjust Temperature Settings

Adjusting temperature settings regularly is essential depending on the season and weather conditions outside. During summer, when temperatures are higher than average, set your thermostat slightly lower than usual so your heat pump doesn’t have to work too hard. When temperatures drop below freezing point in winter, raise it slightly above room temperature so your home stays warm without overworking the unit.

Insulate Your Home Properly

Poor insulation can result in significant losses of heat energy and cause an increase in electricity bills. This is due to inefficient heating systems. That is, heat pumps have difficulty keeping up with the demand for hot air indoors and outdoor temperatures during cold seasons. Their heating mode is significantly affected. Use professional help to attain long-term positive results.

Schedule Professional Maintenance Services

Last but most importantly, schedule professional maintenance services at least once a year (twice is even better!). At Aquarius Home Service, we use advanced techniques and tools to ensure your heat pump runs as efficiently as possible. This includes checking for wear and tear, inspecting electrical components, and replenishing refrigerant levels if necessary.


Here are some frequently asked questions among homeowners.

What should I do if the temperature range of my heat pump is not working properly?

heat pump temperature range calling aquarius with questions

Suppose the temperature range of your heat pump is not working correctly. In that case, it could be due to low refrigerant levels, dirty or blocked filters, or faulty thermostat settings. It would help if you had a qualified technician inspect and recharge your system to fix these issues.

How often should I check the air filter on my heat pump?

The air filter helps keep dirt and debris out of your system, which can reduce its efficiency over time if they become clogged up. To ensure optimal performance from your heat pump, it’s best to check the air filter every three months and replace or clean it when necessary.

Will a heat pump work at 25 degrees?

Air-source heat pumps typically have a working temperature range between -13°F and 90°F (-25°C to 32°C). Therefore, a heat pump should still be able to provide efficient heating at 25 degrees. However, it is essential to note that efficiency can be compromised when temperatures drop below their respective ranges. Heat pumps operate effectively under normal settings.


Heat pumps are a great way to maintain comfortable temperatures in your home. To keep your running at maximum efficiency, you’ll need to understand its correct temperature range and take steps to ensure optimal performance. Plus, you should enlist the help of a trusted partner such as Aquarius Home Services.

We can inspect and recharge your unit, adjust temperature settings, clean filters, and perform other necessary maintenance tasks to ensure your heat pump works at its best throughout the year. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and keep your home comfortable throughout the year.

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