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W.C. Butler Heating and Air Conditioning Blog

Why Won’t My Heat Pump Switch Modes?

Soon you’ll be switching your heat pump over from heating mode to cooling mode for the spring. Sometimes, heat pumps get stuck in one mode or the other, and won’t switch over during season changes. When this happens, you might think that your heat pump is broken.

Really, it’s just that the reversing valve is stuck and needs to be adjusted or replaced. If you think your heat pump is stuck in heating mode and won’t move over for cooling, you can give our team a call to schedule heat pump repair in Roanoke, VA. We can troubleshoot the problem and fix the reversing valve or any other contributing components.

Reversing Valve

The reversing valve is a component that is unique to heat pumps. Other types of HVAC systems do not have a reversing valve because they are separate air conditioners and heaters. When you switch settings on your thermostat, your heater will shut down and your air conditioner will turn on, or vice versa.

But with a heat pump, the thermostat triggers the reversing valve to switch positions and move from one mode of operation to the other. Essentially, the reversing valve is allowing refrigerant to move in the opposite direction. For cooling, refrigerant cycles to absorb heat from the inside of your home and transfer it outdoors. 

When you switch modes to heating, the refrigerant moves in the opposite direction and absorbs heat from outside to transfer into your home as a method of increasing the temperature. The problem is that with time, the reversing valve can wear down and get stuck in one position or the other. 

You may not realize this is a problem until you are in between seasons and trying to switch between modes. It can seem like your heat pump is broken and will not turn on when really it’s just that the reversing valve is stuck.

Troubleshooting Heat Pump Issues

Our team can visit your home and check the reversing valve to see if it is indeed the problem. If it is, sometimes we can clean around the reversing valve to get it unstuck. Other times, we do have to replace the reversing valve completely with a new one. Either way, this is a fairly simple fix and it means that nothing is actually wrong with your heat pump.

There are other times when your thermostat is the problem. If your thermostat is not properly calibrated with your heat pump, it may not signal for your heat pump to turn on and off at the right times. If we find the reversing valve is not the issue, your thermostat is the next place we will check. 

We can make sure that your thermostat is properly calibrated and that all of the connections between your thermostat and your heat pump are secure. Sometimes we have to replace thermostat batteries or gently wipe dust away inside the thermostat to get it working again. No matter what the problem is, we can figure it out and get your heat pump working in both heating and cooling modes again.

We can help you make the best choice for heat pump repair. Rely on the experts at W.C. Butler Heating and Air Conditioning and schedule an appointment today.

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