Heat pumps are well known for their ability to switch back and forth between heating and cooling functions. In fact, it’s the primary reason that most homeowners install one in the first place. However, this ability makes heat pumps more complicated than the average air conditioner, which also makes them more prone to certain problems. One of those problems is becoming stuck in one mode or another. If your heat pump isn’t cooling the air in your home, read on to find out why.
The Reversing Valve
Heat pumps are constructed very much like air conditioners, with one major exception: the reversing valve. The reversing valve is a 4-way valve that sits in the refrigerant line. Inside the valve is a slide that moves between one of two positions. In one position, the refrigerant flows in one direction to offer cooling. In the other position, the flow of the refrigerant reverses and the heat pump heats instead. The slide in the valve is controlled by an electromagnet called the solenoid, which moves it between the two positions based on commands issued by the system. If this valve breaks down for whatever reason, the heat pump can become stuck in just one mode.
Reversing Valve Problems
The reversing valve can break down in a number of ways. The slide can become stuck in the valve, at which point the valve will need to be opened to reset it. It’s also possible for the solenoid to lose its charge, and thus its ability to move the slide back and forth. If that happens, the best you can do is replace the solenoid completely. If your heat pump is stuck in heating mode, call a professional and have them examine your reversing valve.
PRK Services, Inc. offers heat pump repair services throughout Lantana, TX.