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Your Heat Pump Is in Heating Mode … But It’s Not Heating

cold-house-warm-houseWe think that heat pumps are one of the best ways for homes in the Tampa Bay area to enjoy year-round comfort. A heat pump works like an AC—a powerful AC that can handle the heat and humidity of our summers. But a heat pump can also work in reverse as an energy-efficient heating system. Although a heat pump can struggle to provide heat in freezing temperatures, we don’t have to worry about those days in Tampa Bay—a heat pump can stay energy-efficient through the winter.

Because heat pumps change between two different modes, heating and cooling, they can fall prey to a specific malfunction: failure to change from one mode to another. For most heat pumps, the default mode is cooling, so they can run afoul of a problem where they won’t switch into heating mode. 

If you have this problem with your heat pump, you may need us for heat pump repair in Land O’ Lakes, FL. We’ll take a look at why this might be happening with your heat pump.

A basic thermostat mistake

Always check the thermostat to make sure it has the right settings when the heat pump isn’t behaving correctly. Yes, this sounds obvious, but if you’re a new heat pump owner, you may not be used to controlling your heat pump through the thermostat. Consult the thermostat manual to see what you may have overlooked. 

A broken reversing valve

This is the most common cause of a heat pump trapped in cooling mode. The reversing valve is a key component that makes a heat pump different from a standard air conditioner. The reversing valve controls which direction refrigerant flows after it exits the compressor, and this direction determines if the heat pump is in heating mode or cooling mode. The default for the valve is cooling, so if the valve fails, it will only direct refrigerant in the direction to move heat out of the house. 

Technicians must handle reversing valve problems. Often, the valve will need a full replacement, although sometimes repairs can restore it to full functionality.

A lost thermostat connection

This is another way the thermostat can cause trouble for a heat pump, although the issue isn’t as simple as an error with the settings. A thermostat has multiple wire connections to handle turning on and off different parts of the HVAC system. One connection sends the electrical signal that energizes the reversing valve to cause it to change modes. If the thermostat loses this connection, no amount of alterations to the thermostat will make the heat pump turn to heating mode. Technicians can make the necessary repairs to the thermostat, or in some cases replace it. 

Other mechanical issues

There’s a variety of smaller mechanical problems that can inhibit a heat pump’s ability to change modes. You won’t be able to determine these on your own, so please don’t attempt to tinker with the inside of either cabinet of your heat pump. You can leave the hard work to us and we’ll see you have a heat pump that does all that it’s supposed to.

We’ve served the Tampa Bay Area since 1988. Experience the Balanced Air, Inc. difference! 

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