Although our evenings have gotten quite chilly over the past couple of weeks, it’s been a sort of nice relief from the weather we’ve been experiencing, right? We’re used to needing our air conditioners on an hour-by-hour basis, and paying a lot for the energy necessary to make cooling our homes possible.
Soon enough, it will be time to turn our attention away from our cooling systems and toward our heaters instead. If you have a heat pump, this means making sure it’s properly maintained for the season (it’s not too late to schedule heating maintenance this year, if you haven’t done so already!), and then switching it from cooling mode to heating mode.
Wait, what’s that? You just tried to do that and it’s still sending out cooled air through the vents? Yikes!
Okay, first off, this might not be as big of a deal as you think–we’ll cover some troubleshooting tips below. It may require professional repairs, and we’ll talk about that more below as well. Read on to learn what’s happening when your heat pump won’t switch to heating mode.
Troubleshooting Tip #1: Check the Air Filter
Were you aware that the air filter for your heat pump needs to be changed out or cleaned, if it’s a “permanent” air filter, on a regular basis? If you haven’t swapped out or cleaned your air filter in over a month, then this might be the solution to your problem. A clogged air filter will restrict airflow to the point that even if warmed air is trying to make its way through to your living space, you’re probably not feeling its full power.
This is also bad for your heater as it can cause warm air to get trapped inside, leading to overheating and/or short-cycling, both of which are bad for the heat pump in the long run.
Troubleshooting Tip #2: Double-Check the Thermostat
There’s a chance that your thermostat might be miscalibrated. Or there’s a chance someone else in your home with different heating preferences set the thermostat to a temperature lower than you desire… which would mean your heat pump isn’t cycling on when you expect it to.
Fortunately, re-calibrating a thermostat is a fairly simple fix for our technicians to make, and we are here and ready to help!
Repair Need #1: You Have a Broken Reversing Valve
The reversing valve is the component actually responsible for switching the flow of refrigerant when it gets the right signal from your thermostat to switch from cooling to heating mode, or vice-versa. There are a number of smaller components that make up the reversing valve, and a problem with any one of them can cause the device to stop working. This absolutely is something you’ll want to call in a professional for.
Repair Need #2: You Have a Broken Compressor
This is the worst-case scenario when your heat pump won’t switch from one mode to the other. If you’re staying on top of your bi-annual maintenance appointments, this will likely not be a problem you’ll need to worry about. But a broken-down compressor means you won’t be able to heat or cool your home with your heat pump.
If you suspect a problem and tried the two troubleshooting tips above to no avail, please don’t hesitate to give us a call!