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How to Diagnose & Fix Your Ductless Heat Pump's Remote Control

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There are plenty of things that you'll notice about your new ductless heat pump that's a bit different from a typical central heat pump. Instead of a conventional thermostat, your ductless heat pump is controlled by a handheld remote. In the event that anything goes wrong with your remote control, you can easily troubleshoot the problem with the helpful advice found below.

Check Those Batteries First

If you're having trouble out of your remote control, you should check the batteries first. Many homeowners make the all-too-common mistake of assuming that something dire has happened to their ductless heat pump when in reality, the batteries inside remote control have simply run out of juice.

Replace the batteries according to your ductless system's instruction manual. Most remotes use AA or AAA alkaline batteries, although it's not uncommon to come across remotes that use the smaller CR2032 lithium batteries. Don't forget to orient the positive (+) and negative (-) ends of the battery correctly during replacement.

Make sure the remote works after you've replaced the batteries. If it doesn't, then it's time to move on to the next step.

Check the Unit's Main Power

If the ductless heat pump remains unresponsive, you'll want to make sure the unit itself is receiving power. First, check the on/off switch located on the wall-mounted heat pump unit and make sure it's set at the "on" position. If it is and the unit still remains unresponsive, make sure the circuit breaker for the ductless heat pump hasn't been triggered or the fuse for the unit hasn't been blown.

If the circuit breaker or fuse is working properly, check the main power switch located outside near the outdoor condenser cabinet. Make sure the switch is set to the "on" position. If you still can't get any power to the heat pump, you may want to have an electrician check other possibilities involving your home's electrical system.

Keep it Clean

Some remote controls feature air sensor ports that measure indoor temperatures and automatically adjust the air handler accordingly. You'll want to keep these ports free of any dust or debris, otherwise it could block air flow to the sensors within the remote and cause the heat pump to finish running earlier or later than expected.

In most cases, you can keep the air sensor ports clean simply by blasting the area with compressed air. It'll help dislodge built-up dust from the remote quickly and effectively. You could also try vacuuming the dust and debris with a shop vacuum and a narrow cleaning attachment. This will help prevent your remote from being sucked in, but also clean the air sensor port effectively.

Stay in Sight

In many cases, the remote control is mounted on a bracket just like a conventional thermostat. Given this particular arrangement, it's important that the remote control remains within the line of sight of the receiver located on the air handler. If not, then you may want to consider moving it closer to the air handler. Make sure that there are no obstructions lying between the remote control and the air handler.

What Not to Do

One thing you don't want to do when diagnosing your remote control is to take the actual device apart. There are usually no user-serviceable parts inside, making the effort of rewiring or re-soldering connections within the remote a relatively futile endeavor.

A ductless heat pump can be a great way to stay comfortable year-round, especially if you don't want to go through the hassle of adding a duct system to your existing home. Keeping your heat pump's remote control in great shape can go a long way towards keeping the rest of your system in shape.