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Ambient Air Solutions Blog

Why Won’t My Heat Pump Switch Modes?

a temperature gauge showing just the right temperature

It’s Labor Day and that means you’re probably giving one last hurrah to summer. Unlike some parts of the country that will continue to enjoy warm and sunny weather, here in Montana, Labor Day weekend means fall is just around the corner. And that means you’ll soon be using your heating system.

If your home uses a heat pump system for heating your home, you’ll be making the switch from cooling to heating. But what if you try and switch your heat pump from cooling to heating mode, only to discover it’s still outputting cold air? This is actually a common problem with heat pumps, so don’t worry. Read on to learn what might be going on with your heat pump.

The Reversing Valve

A faulty reversing valve is the most common reason why a heat pump won’t switch modes. The reversing valve is an essential component of your heat pump system. This part is what allows your heat pump to switch from heating to cooling mode and vice versa. And unfortunately, it’s also a part that’s prone to wear and tear. It can also become “stuck.”

Although it’s just one component of your heat pump, it’s a complicated part that has several areas where something can go wrong. The reversing valve consists of several ports, a sliding mechanism, and an electrical component called the solenoid. The sliding mechanism can change the position of the valves to allow the refrigerant to flow to the correct coil. 

When you switch your heat pump’s mode, an electrical signal is sent to the solenoid, activating the sliding mechanism. Then the refrigerant passes through the valve to the desired place so it can either cool or heat depending on the selected mode.

The only way to know for sure what’s going on with your stuck heat pump is to call our team. A heat pump repair like this is fairly easy for a professional HVAC technician to diagnose and fix. You might be tempted to look up a DIY tutorial on how to troubleshoot a troublesome reversing valve, but we advise you to leave this to licensed and trained technicians.

Or You Could Have a Thermostat Problem

Sometimes a heat pump that doesn’t seem to be “switching modes” could actually just be a problem with your thermostat. The heat pump’s thermostat uses different wire connections in order to activate various components of the heat pump to turn it on and off. If the thermostat has a wiring issue and is unable to activate the reversing valve, the heat pump will stay “stuck” in one mode.

It’s also possible that the heat pump simply isn’t accurately reading your home’s temperature or is registering the outdoor temperature incorrectly. This will prevent your heat pump from operating as it should. A professional HVAC technician will simply need to recalibrate the thermostat for you, a quick and easy repair. 

Contact Ambient Air Solutions today for professional heat pump repair in Bozeman, MT. Simplifying Heating & Cooling!

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