Why Your Heat Pump Won’t Switch Modes

The main reason that homeowners invest in a heat pump for comfort is that heat pumps can perform two different functions: cooling and heating. This makes them great for taking care of household comfort throughout the year, and they are especially efficient while in heating mode, much more so than systems that use electrical resistance heating, such as electric furnaces.

If a heat pump stops working in one of its modes and stays either blowing out cooled air or heated air, you should call Mid-State Air Conditioning and Heating right away to schedule repairs. You don’t want to lose half of the function of your heat pump, and since you probably don’t have a second comfort system in your home, the rooms will soon start to become uncomfortable. Our technicians will be out to your home right away to take care of your needs for cooling or heating repair in Nashville, TN.

What went wrong with my heat pump?

The most common cause for a heat pump to become stuck in one mode is a malfunction in the reversing valve. This valve is the key component that separates a heat pump from a standard air conditioner. An air conditioner sends hot, high-pressure refrigerant from the compressor and moves it to the outdoor coils to release heat, and then it travels to the indoor coils to absorb heat, and then returns to the compressor.

But in a heat pump, the high-pressure, heated refrigerant leaves the compressor and goes first into the reversing valve. A slide inside the reversing valve, depending on its position, either sends the refrigerant first to the outdoor coils or to the indoor coils. If the refrigerant goes to the outdoor coils first, the heat pump will work in cooling mode. If it instead goes to the indoor coils first, the heat pump will work in heating mode.

The reversing valve in a mechanical component, and like any mechanical device, it can break. If the valve stops in one position or another, the heat pump will stay trapped in a single mode. Most of the time, it is easiest for technicians to remove the reversing valve and replace it with a new one.

You should not attempt to replace the reversing valve yourself, since a mistake here might adversely affect the compressor, and a broken compressor usually means that the whole unit requires replacement. Don’t make this mistake: for quality cooling and heating repair in Nashville, TN make the call to Mid-State Air Conditioning and Heating. We promise that it’s “Fixed Right or It’s Free”®.

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