If you use a heat pump in Clearwater, FL to provide both heating and cooling for your home, you’ll use it most of the time in its cooling mode. After all, Tampa Bay enjoys hot summers and warm to mild winters. It’s not often we need to have heating power for comfort. But this is one of the reasons heat pumps are such good choices for comfort in our climate: they are powerful air conditioning systems that can shift into working as efficient heating systems when necessary.
If a heat pump is working as it should, all it takes to change it to heating mode is to make an adjustment to the thermostat. But what happens if you do make the adjustment to your heat pump, but you either don’t get enough heat or the heat pump continues to send out cooled air?
Let’s take a quick look at what might be happening.
We’ll get the simplest explanation out of the way. You may not be getting warm air from the heat pump because the thermostat isn’t set accurately. Double check on the setting, especially the programs if you have a digital programmable thermostat or a smart thermostat.
This is an actual problem requiring a professional to repair. This is a situation where the thermostat is incorrectly reading indoor temperatures so it doesn’t sense that the house has become cold enough where it should switch the heat pump into heating mode. A technician can recalibrate the thermostat so it works accurately. (You may also wish to upgrade to a thermostat better matched to the heat pump.)
Broken/stuck reversing valve
If you are only getting cool air from the vents, rather than lukewarm air, the issue may be the reversing valve. This is one of the essential components that makes a heat pump a heat pump, rather than a standard AC. The valve is what determines which direction the refrigerant in the heat pump flows, and that controls whether it’s in heating or cooling mode. The valve can break or become stuck, and this will leave the heat pump trapped in a single mode. HVAC technicians can fix the valve or replace it.
The refrigerant in the heat pump is part of how it heats and cools. This fluid is how the system transports heat from one place to another, either pumping heat from out of the home (cooling mode) or pumping heat into the home (heating mode). The refrigerant isn’t used up as the heat pump runs, so the amount of refrigerant in the system should remain at the same level for the heat pump’s service life. But it can leak, and if this happens, it will lose its conditioning power. Worse, the change in pressure in the system will eventually lead to catastrophic damage. Professionals must seal the leaks and then restore the proper amount of refrigerant to the heat pump to fix this.