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Brown's Heating & Cooling Blog

What If Your Heat Pump Won’t Switch Modes?


It might not quite be time to switch your heat pump from heating mode to cooling just yet, but that’s just around the corner. And when that time does come, you will want to easily adjust your heat pump right? This way it can cool your home as powerfully as it heated your home this past winter.

Well, we cannot guarantee that your heat pump will work flawlessly if you’ve skipped professional maintenance–which should be scheduled twice a year for a year-round heat pump system. Nor can we guarantee this for an aging heat pump system. If you skipped maintenance or haven’t had your system serviced in the past year, then that lukewarm air coming from your heat pump might continue when you try to switch the system over to cooling mode.

What happens then? Read on to find out!

You Might Be Dealing with a Fairly Basic Issue

The first step to take if you do, in fact, find that your heat pump won’t switch modes is… don’t panic!

We want you to check to make sure that your thermostat is correctly set. We don’t just mean check that it is in cooling mode, but also check that you don’t accidentally have a pre-programmed setting that might be interfering with system functionality.

The next thing you should check is to see that there’s a fresh air filter in the heat pump. A clogged-up air filter leftover from the cooler months will restrict airflow and can make it seem like you’re not getting cool enough air when in reality you’re probably just not getting very powerful air.

You should be changing or cleaning (if it’s permanent) your air filter every 1-3 months during periods of system use–which with a heat pump in our area is pretty much year-round!

Or, The Problem Could Be More Serious

If your heat pump system is actually malfunctioning, there are a few potential reasons why. The most likely culprit is that you have a broken reversing valve.

The reversing valve is a vital component in a heat pump since this is what allows the system to function as both a cooling and a heating system. As refrigerant exits the compressor, it flows through this valve, which controls whether the hot, high-pressured chemical blend moves first to the outdoor coil, or to the indoor coil. This direction determines whether the heat pump will function in heating mode or in cooling mode.

As you can imagine, if the valve gets stuck during any part of this process, the heat pump will also get stuck, in whatever mode it was in. Our professionally trained technicians may repair the reversing valve but, in many cases, it’s more beneficial to have the valve replaced with a new one altogether.

One last possibility is that the mechanical components of the heat pump are working just fine, however for some reason the reversing valve isn’t getting any signal from the thermostat. This loss of connection means that no matter what the thermostat says, the electrical signal that tells the valve to shift positions won’t activate.

No matter the problem, our technicians can resolve it!

For professional heat pump repair in Manitou Springs, contact Brown’s Heating & Cooling today!

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