Furnaces are the way the majority of homes keep the chill of winter away from their families. But heat pumps are becoming more common, thanks to the advantages they offer the right homes: a two-in-one operation that takes care of air conditioning needs in summer, energy-saving performance in winter, and increased safety in general.
You’re probably about ready to turn your heat pump over to heating mode, where it will stay for the next few months. There’s nothing complex about doing this: you make an adjustment on the thermostat to raise the indoor temperature rather than lower it, and the heat pump automatically switches the direction it moves refrigerant so it brings heat into the house, rather than removing it.
But… what if you make the changes and instead of feeling warm air from the vents, you feel either room temperature air or cold air? This might be a simple mistake, but in some cases, a heat pump that’s stuck in one mode requires you call for heating repair in Westfield, NJ or wherever you are in our service area throughout Central and Northern New Jersey.
Simple thermostat programming mistake
I know this sounds a bit too obvious, but occasionally the problem is just a mistake with the thermostat settings. You may have a set program that’s overriding your adjustments. Check the thermostat and consult the instructions to ensure that you have the temperatures set correctly to switch the heat pump over to heating mode.
Clogged air filter that hasn’t been changed.
We recommend you start each winter with a new air filter for the HVAC system. A filter can pick up a lot of debris during the end of the summer and through the fall, and if it hasn’t received its routine change it can choke off airflow and make it difficult for the heat pump to warm up the air. Check the filter and change it if necessary.
The thermostat temperature sensors are at fault
The problem may be the thermostat—but an actual malfunction in one rather than a programming mistake. A thermostat that is miscalibrated may not sense when the temperature in the house is cold enough to register that the heat pump needs to turn on in heating mode. This requires professional to recalibrate the thermostat, or perhaps replace it.
A broken reversing valve
Here’s the major mechanical problem with a heat pump that can lead to it being trapped in one mode. The reversing valve is the component that controls what direction refrigerant moves through the heat pump, and therefore what mode it’s working in. If the reversing valve becomes stuck because of a broken solenoid or another mechanical problem, the heat pump will remain in its current mode. This problem needs professionals, either to fix the solenoid or to replace the reversing valve entirely.
Refrigerant loss through leaks
If you started to sense a drop in cooling power at the end of summer or during the fall, the trouble may be that the refrigerant is leaking. This will prevent the heat pump from being able to do either side of its job! Professionals will seal the leaks and then recharge the refrigerant to its factory-set levels.
At Air Creations, Inc., “We Do It Right!” since 1987. Serving Central and Northern New Jersey.