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Reasons Your Heat Pump Might Be Stuck in One Mode


The true benefit of a heat pump is that it provides both heating and cooling: all the work of two major appliances in a single system. Of course, there are other benefits, notably the extreme efficiency with which a heat pump heats. But you’re really not getting what you signed up for, and what you deserve, if the heat pump doesn’t both heat and cool.

So what is going on if your heat pump gets stuck in one mode? There’s really one mechanism responsible for switching the heat pump from one mode to another, and three parts of it which could be causing your problem right now. Here’s what you need to know about the reasons a heat pump might be stuck in one mode and how to address it.

The Reversing Valve

An air conditioner conducts refrigerant flow in a single direction. It is always absorbing heat from inside the home, and it can only release that heat outside the home. A heat pump is essentially an air conditioner, but one with the ability to reverse that refrigerant flow. It can operate to cool your home, but it can also direct heat in to warm your home. 

How can it reverse the flow of refrigerant? With a reversing valve! This mechanism should work automatically with the signals from your thermostat and switch from heating to cooling as necessary. But in order to do that, three parts need to work in concert. 

  • The Thermostat: There are a variety of ways that your thermostat could be causing your heat pump not to switch modes, and the good news is, you might be able to correct this yourself. Check your settings to make sure they haven’t been accidentally adjusted, and replace the batteries, which can send inconsistent signals if they are dying. Another possibility is that your thermostat needs recalibration, which must be done by a technician.
  • The Wiring: For the thermostat to get signals to the heat pump, all the wiring between the two must be firmly connected. A loose connection can lead to intermittent or failed signals, and it is possible that the vibration from the heat pump itself could cause a slightly loose wire to disconnect entirely. Checking this out is a job for a professional in heat pump repair in Boerne, TX.
  • The Solenoid: To change the direction of refrigerant flow, a sliding piece opens or closes valves. The slider moves with pressure from a solenoid, a type of electromagnet. The thermostat’s signal, through the wires, charges the electromagnet. But a solenoid does not last forever, and may need to be replaced in order to work properly when charged. 

Heat Pump Repair

If you’ve checked your thermostat settings and tried replacing the thermostat’s batteries, it’s time to get a professional in to determine whether a miscalibrated thermostat, a loose wire, or a solenoid in need of replacement is the cause of your problem. With trustworthy professional repairs, your heat pump will be up and running again in whatever mode you need.

Contact D’Spain Sales & Service to talk to a member of our team.

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