Why Won’t My Heat Pump Switch Over to Heating Mode?

cold-man-with-thermostatA heat pump is a great comfort system for our climate. We have hot summers, and when in cooling mode a heat pump is as powerful as the best air conditioners. We experience mild winters, and a heat pump has an energy efficient heating mode that delivers comfort without turning electricity bills too scary.

But what happens if you have a heat pump that simply won’t heat when you need it? If it’s either still sending out cool air or the air from the vents is room temperature, you have a comfort problem. In some situations, this will require calling for professional heating repair in Los Lunas, NM. Our experts are ready to get on the job and have your heat pump working the way it should again.

Why You May Have a “Stuck” Heat Pump

There are several possibilities for a heat pump that stays jammed in its cooling mode. We’ll start with the most common one, which is a broken reversing valve. In most situations where a heat pump keeps sending out cooled air when it’s supposed to heat, the reversing valve is at fault.

The reversing valve is one of the essential parts of a heat pump that makes it different from an air conditioner. An air conditioner can only circulate refrigerant in one direction, so when refrigerant leaves the compressor, it goes first to the outdoor coil. A reversing valve allows a heat pump to direct this refrigerant flow either to the outdoor coil or indoor coil first, and this is how it switches between its modes. Should the reversing valve break and become locked in one position, the heat pump will be trapped in one mode. (Note that this can happen both directions and have a heat pump stuck in heating mode.) HVAC technicians can solve this problem by replacing the reversing valve.

Another, simpler cause for the heat pump staying in cooling mode is a malfunctioning thermostat. The thermostat has a connection specifically to the reversing valve to signal when to change between modes. If it loses this connection, you won’t be able to change the heat pump to heating. The thermostat may also sense incorrect temperatures and it won’t realize when to turn over to heating mode.

If you have a heat pump that is delivering lukewarm or room-temperature air, you could be looking at a different range of problems. We recommend you first check the air filter to see if it’s clogged, since this restricts the heat pump’s heating and cooling abilities. Change the filter for a clean one. The heat pump may have a serious malfunction such as leaking refrigerant, ice along the indoor coil, or dirt on the outdoor coil.

Don’t try to investigate the problem on your own (beyond checking the filter) and instead call for technicians to find out the source of the problem. Only experienced HVAC experts can diagnose what’s affecting the heat pump and have it fixed right.

Why wait for service when you can get it Express? Call Santa Fe Express Plumbing & Drain for your home heating needs.

24/7 Emergency ServiceIncluding Holidays
Free EstimatesOn AC or Heating Installations
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Why mess with the rest?

Call Express!