As the weather starts to cool down, you should start testing your home’s heating system to make sure that it’s working properly. If you have a heat pump, you need to make sure that it blows out warm air when you need it to — instead of blowing cool air. In today’s post, Amber Air Conditioning Inc. discusses what you should do if your heat pump gets stuck in cooling mode.
Reverse Air Conditioner
Heat pumps are essentially reverse air conditioners. An air conditioner’s cooling cycle cools your indoor spaces by putting a substance called refrigerant through different stages of compression, resulting in varying temperatures. Cool air is produced when air is blown over coils in the indoor unit as cooled refrigerant passes through them, and the refrigerant absorbs heat from the air on its way out. The heat from the refrigerant is then released through the outdoor unit.
On a heat pump, the cycle is reversed: refrigerant absorbs heat from the outdoors and releases it inside, along with the heat generated as the refrigerant is pressurized, through the indoor unit. Many air conditioning systems feature a switch that reverses this cycle, which eliminates the need for a separate heating system.
If your heat pump is stuck in cooling mode, the cause may be one or more of the following:
Thermostat malfunction — “Problems” that concern heating and cooling systems are typically caused by a malfunctioning thermostat, which can often be fixed by simply resetting it or replacing the batteries. Sometimes the problem can be caused by faulty wiring, in which case you’ll need an HVAC technician to fix it.
Broken reversing valve — The reversing valve is part of the mechanism that switches the HVAC system between heating and cooling mode. Repairs aren’t complicated — the old valve will simply be swapped out for the new one — but this has to be done by a certified technician.
Leaking refrigerant — If there’s an oily substance coming from the outdoor unit, there’s a refrigerant leak. Turn off the heat pump and contact your HVAC technician if you notice this. Continuing to use the heat pump when it’s leaking refrigerant will result in higher energy consumption, lower output and increased stress on the system.
Call Amber for All Your Heating and Cooling Needs
Amber Air Conditioning Inc. is your leading provider of air conditioning and indoor air quality services. Give us a call at (951) 336-0835. You can also fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. We serve customers in Lake Elsinore, Temecula, and Corona, CA.