What It Means When Your Heat Pump Won’t Switch Modes

With temperatures expected to start creeping back up into the 70s in just a few short weeks, it’s time to ensure your air conditioner is ready for the change in the weather. The best way to do this is to schedule preventive maintenance. It’s still a little early just yet, but it’s never too early for a tune-up! We typically recommend this service be done in the spring before you need your air conditioner the most.

What It Means When Your Heat Pump Won’t Switch Modes

What if you have a heat pump? The same rule applies, except you should have maintenance done on this system twice a year, since it does get year-round use. Without maintenance, you can run into any number of problems. One issue in particular that we get calls for as temperatures rise is in regards to a heat pump that won’t switch modes—that is, a heat pump system that won’t come out of heating mode and into cooling mode.

Something Has Disrupted the Refrigerant Flow

When your heat pump system is in heating mode, the refrigerant within it circulates throughout the inside and outside units. This refrigerant absorbs heat from the outside air and moves it indoors. Then when it’s supposed to switch back into cooling mode, a reversing valve will activate, helping refrigerant flow in the opposite direction.

Check valves are another component responsible for helping refrigerant avoid some portions that would impact the temperature and effectiveness of the process.

That all being said, there are three potential components that may be to blame for a heat pump that won’t switch from heating mode to cooling mode:

  • The Sliding Cylinder: This is the part that’s supposed to actually reverse the flow of refrigerant once you switch your system into the new mode. The reversing valve is responsible for allowing refrigerant in the heat pump to reverse into heating mot, but the sliding cylinder with the component is essential to the process.
  • Check Valves: The check valve is responsible for automatically preventing backflow (reverse flow) when fluid in the line reversed direction. These are self-automated, but can get stuck, thereby preventing your heat pump from switching modes.
  • Thermostat Problem: Last, but certainly not least, the problem may not be with your heat pump at all, but rather a faulty or miscalibrated thermostat. The best thing you can do in this case is contact our team for expert thermostat services so we can take care of that problem for you.

A Refrigerant Leak

Another thing that will definitely disrupt the flow of refrigerant is a leak. Many homeowners assume that refrigerant is something that has to be refilled—recharged—every now and then. However, if your heat pump was installed correctly and properly maintained, you shouldn’t ideally ever have to have your refrigerant recharged.

If you’re told your system is losing refrigerant, it means you have a leak that must be properly located and repaired. Fortunately, you needn’t look any further than our team for this kind of service.

For quality heat pump services and more, contact Fresh Air, LP today!

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