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Max Sr & Paul Schoenwalder Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning, A Corp. Blog

“Help! My Heat Pump is Stuck in Cooling Mode”

vent-on-wall-near-floorLet’s face it, it gets cold around here in the winter! Have you gone to turn on your heat pump for the first time this year only to discover that it seems to be stuck in cooling mode? This can of course be a frustrating issue—after all, you need a reliable heating system!

The first thing you should do if your heat pump seems to be blowing out cold air when it should be sending out heat is to check the thermostat. Do you actually have it set to heat? This might seem apparent, however there is always a chance that a family member switched it back over, preferring a different temperature in the home than you do.

Assuming you checked this and the heat pump is blowing out cold air even when you’ve switched the thermostat to heat, it means your heat pump is stuck in cooling mode. But how does this happen and what can be done?

A Broken Reversing Valve

The most common reason a heat pump would be blowing out cold air, or stuck in one mode or the other is due to a broken reversing valve. This components sits along your system’s refrigerant line, and is tasked with switching the direction that the refrigerant flows through the lines within your heat pump.

Essentially, the reversing valve is what makes your heat pump different from a traditional, central air conditioning system. If the heat pump breaks down, it leaves you without a heating system or an air conditioner—which as any Union resident knows, is going to be a problem when spring and summer roll back around.

The good news here is that a broken reversing valve is commonly an easy fix for a technician. They’ll swap out the old valve for a new one. Since this is a pretty common component replacement, you can usually count on technicians having them on hand in their trucks to make quick repairs.

Thermostat Troubles

Another potential cause for a heat pump being stuck in cooling mode is due to a problem with your thermostat. It might be a faulty wiring connection—this can cause your thermostat to lose its connection to the heat pump, and therefore have no signal for the system to start heating.

This is, generally speaking, a simple fix for our pros, but not one you should try tackling on your own. Thermostats may be small components, but the wiring that connects them to your heat pump can be dangerous in inexperienced hands.

Refrigerant Leak

When your heat pump is installed, it has enough refrigerant to last its entire lifespan—it doesn’t deplete like gasoline does from a car. It’s instead constantly recycled throughout your system. If you are losing refrigerant, it means there is a leak, and your heat pump won’t’ be able to work effectively, no matter what mode it is in.

If you suspect you may have a refrigerant leak (the air coming through your vents might not be cold, but it won’t be hot either, and you may hear a hissing or bubbling noise coming from the system), then the best thing you can do is connect with our expert technicians ASAP to get it fixed. A refrigerant leak can lead to a domino effect of other issues within the system, and potentially even a full system breakdown.

Established in 1912, Max Sr & Paul Schoenwalder Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning, A Corp. is your trusted resource for comprehensive heat pump services and more! Reach out to us today.

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