There’s no denying it—it gets cold around here in the wintertime! Perhaps you’ve gone to turn on your heat pump for the first time already this season only to discover its stuck in cooling mode and won’t switch to heat. This is of course very frustrating—you’re going to need a reliable heating system, very soon!
The first thing you should do if you notice this issues is check your thermostat if you haven’t already. Make sure it’s set to heat. This might seem obvious, but there’s always the chance that a family member switched it back over because they preferred a different temperature setting than you.
Assuming you checked this, however, and the heat pump is blowing out cool air even if you tried switching it to heating mode, it means the heat pump is stuck in cooling mode. The good news is, we have an explanation and a solution! Read on…
The Probable Cause: A Broken Reversing Valve
The most likely cause for a heat pump to be blowing out cold air when the thermostat says heat, or to be stuck in one mode or another, is because of a broken reversing valve. This is a components of your heat pump that sits along the system’s refrigerant line, and is responsible for switching the direction that the refrigerant flows through the lines within the system.
Basically, the reversing valve is what makes a heat pump different from a standard, traditional central air conditioner. If your heat pump system breaks down, then it leaves you without a heating system and without a cooling system. This is quite the inconvenience considering how variable our weather can be, no matter the season.
There’s good news though! A broken reversing valve is a pretty common and easy fix for our technicians. Not only that, but a reversing valve is such a common part of a heat pump that it’s typically something we have on hand in our trucks, so this repair isn’t one you’ll have to wait on for too long.
Another Possible Cause: Thermostat Problems
Another potential reason for a heat pump stuck in cooling mode is an issue with your thermostat. You may be dealing with a faulty wiring connection, which can cause your thermostat to lose its connection to the heat pump, and therefore have no signal for the system to start actually heating your home.
This is another fairly easy fix for our pros. If the thermostat is the issue though, its simplicity does not mean that you should try repair it on your own. Thermostats include a lot of wiring, which means you’re dealing with electricity. Without the right training and know-how, you can accidentally cause injury or even an electrical fire.
One Last Possibility: A Refrigerant Leak
There’s a fairly common misconception among homeowners that refrigerant loss is normal. On the contrary, if you’re losing refrigerant it means there’s a leak. Your heat pump system simply can’t operate without the right refrigerant charge. Be sure to give us a call right away if you suspect this problem, otherwise you could be facing a totally broken down system very shortly.