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Ambient Comfort LLC Blog

Heat Pump Stuck on Cooling? Here’s What To Do

Nothing feels worse in the middle of the winter than pressing “heat” on your thermostat, to then feel frigid air coming from your air handler. Heat pumps are supposed to heat your home, at least that’s what you were told when it installed! Not only that, but it’s freezing outside and you can’t deal with it being freezing inside as well, right?

Well, before you panic, we’d like to say that this kind of thing happens. It’s still a problem, and perhaps we can clue you into some solutions for said problem.

Firstly, we’d like to emphasize that you shouldn’t just start dealing with this as normal. Don’t’ shut off your heat pump for the season as you brace yourself to deal with the frigid temperatures alone. For emergency Mount Laurel HVAC services, contact our team to help get your system back on track. Though, perhaps we can give you a bit more information as to what’s happening to your heat pump.

A Problematic Reversing Valve

Before we talk about what’s wrong with your system, we need to talk about the reversing valve. It’s a component to your heat pump that allows it to change from cooling to heating by reversing the directional flow of the refrigerant. It’s a metal tube with four nozzles, three on the bottom and one on the top. There’s also an electrical device that’s small in comparison, sitting on the top of the pump called a solenoid. This electrical device helps push the sliding mechanism inside the reversing valve from side to side, effectively changing the direction that the refrigerant is flowing. Any problem with a heat pump stuck in cooling mode is probably related to a malfunctioning reversing valve or these components.

Fixing a Malfunctioning Reversing Valve

While this isn’t something to do on your own, it’s a good idea to know what the problem is when you are communicating with an HVAC professional to have it repaired. There can be various different reasons as to why your reversing valve is stuck, and being able to pinpoint this problem can be very helpful when scheduling service.

  • Bad Solenoid. If the solenoid is bad, it’s probably because the wires inside have become corroded or frayed. Solenoids can be easily replaced, so there’s not much to worry about in that department.
  • Thermostat Issue. Thermostats are also composed of electrical wiring that can fray and corrode over time. Since thermostats are constantly in contact with your home, they can develop problems due to dust and dirt as well. Thankfully, thermostats can also be easily replaced at a minor relative cost.
  • Issue with Sliding Mechanism. Remember how we mentioned that the solenoid helps push the sliding mechanism inside the valve from side to side? Well, if that sliding mechanism has broken down, you’re going to need to replace the whole valve. While not as terrible as a refrigerant leak, that can still be an inconvenience.
  • Refrigerant Leak. Refrigerant leaks can be the worst problem that’s developed, since not only will your reversing valve need to be replaced, but your system will have been leaking refrigerant which can be harmful to the environment and to your health.

Contact Ambient Comfort today if you’ve been dealing with a heat pump that’s stuck. We can help!

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