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You Turn Your Heat Pump to “Cooling”—And Nothing Happens

climate-controlHeat pumps are great. Instead of using a separate air conditioner and furnace to manage your comfort around the year, you only need a single system that can provide heating and cooling. And it works the same way, no matter if it’s in heating mode or cooling mode: the only difference is the direction the refrigerant moves. In one direction, the refrigerant moves heat from inside and releases it outside (cooling). In the other, it moves heat from outside and releases it inside (heating).

We’re at the time of the year when you’re going stop using the heating mode on the heat pump, and will eventually change the setting on the thermostat to “cooling.” But what do you do if you change your heat pump over to cooling—and you don’t get cool air from the vents?

Let’s break it down and see what’s going on

First, double check the thermostat. Make sure it is set to “cooling.” We know this sounds silly, but simple mistakes are often behind what seem like larger problems.

The next thing to do is to go to the outside cabinet and listen to hear if it’s working. If it isn’t, then you likely have some kind of electrical issue: power isn’t getting to the heat pump, so you won’t have either cooling or heating. Check on the circuit breaker box to see if there’s a tripped breaker. The compressor motor or the blower fan motor may have overloaded the circuit. Reset the breaker and then try the heat pump again.

If the heat pump is running, but you’re aren’t getting cool air, go to the vents and check on the temperature of the air and the airflow from them. If the air feels hot—as if the heat pump is still in heating mode—there are a couple of possibilities. One is that the thermostat isn’t communicating with the heat pump to turn it to cooling mode. This could be a connection failure, or the thermostat may be misreading the temperature. Another common reason for a heat pump stuck in one mode is the reversing valve is broken. This valve is the essential part of the heat pump that changes the flow of refrigerant. If this breaks or becomes stuck, the heat pump will remain in one mode. Problems with the thermostat or the reversing valve need an HVAC professional for repairs.

If the air is only lukewarm, not hot, change out the air filter—it may be too clogged and cutting down on the amount of air crossing over the evaporator coil. If this doesn’t fix the problem, it may be a dusty or iced-over coil, or maybe leaking refrigerant. These are also issues that must be resolved by a professional. Low airflow could be leaks in the ductwork, and you’ll also need HVAC experts to take care of solving this.

No matter what heat pump service in Raleigh, NC you need to see that your system keeps you cool through the summer, you can rely on our team.

Comfort Master Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. offers service throughout the Triangle Area of North Carolina.

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