It’s pretty unpleasant to turn on your heat pump expecting warmth and be instead greeted with a blast of cold air. Heat pumps are highly valued for their ability to switch between heating and cooling modes, but occasionally they can lose this ability. If your heat pump is stuck in cooling mode this winter, there could be a couple of different reasons why. Let’s take a look at those reasons now.
A Broken Reversing Valve
Every heat pump system includes a part called the reversing valve, which controls the direction that refrigerant flows through the system. The reversing valve contains a slide, which moves between two possible positions to determine whether the heat pump is in heating or cooling mode. The slide is controlled by an electromagnet called the “solenoid.” If the slide becomes stuck, or the solenoid loses its charge, then the heat pump will be unable to switch modes. This is very often the cause of problems with the heat pump switching modes.
As you probably already know, heat pumps don’t burn any kind of fuel to generate heat. Instead, they evaporate refrigerant to absorb thermal energy from one area and then condense it to release it in another area. Refrigerant is the core of the heat pump, the material that makes it possible for the system to operate. Without it, the heat pump would not be able to heat or cool your home. So if a leak develops in the refrigerant line you may experience a decline in heat output. It is important that you call for repairs as soon as you notice any kind of fluid leaking from your heat pump system. The longer the leak is allowed to continue, the more damage it will be able to inflict on the heat pump.