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Wall Heating & Air Conditioning Blog

What Can Go Wrong with a Heat Pump Reversing Valve


Ahh, fall: beautiful weather, football, and seasonal celebrations. Are you ready for it? As we approach the season when the weather finally cools down and you no longer need to use your heat pump to cool your home, you’re almost ready to switch it into heating mode. But what if, when you try to heat your home on that first chilly morning, icy cold air blasts out?

Your heat pump is able to switch functions from cooling your home to warming it because of a part called a reversing valve. And it can be extremely frustrating if it refuses to reverse, offering you only air conditioning when it’s already too cold in your house. But what can you do about it?

First, keep in mind that a heat pump is designed to be maintained and repaired by qualified technicians. Our team is specially trained to be able to provide safe and professional service, so when there’s a problem, reach out to us so we can repair your heat pump in Monroe, GA

Of course, it’s good to know how your system works and what might cause a problem, so let’s take a closer look at your heat pump.

How Heat Pumps Work

Refrigerant is pumped through coils in the system. When you want your home to be cooler, refrigerant absorbs heat from indoors as it condenses from a gas into a liquid. As the refrigerant travels outside your home, it evaporates back into a gas and releases the heat, so by the time it re-enters your home it is cool again. When you want your home to be warmer, your heat pump can do this process in reverse. The flow of the refrigerant can be sent in the opposite direction by the reversing valve. 

How the Reversing Valve Can Malfunction

Of course, if the reversing valve won’t switch over, you’ve lost the main benefit of your heat pump: being able to both heat and cool your home. Why would this critical component stop working? There are several possible causes.

  • Physical: The reversing valve looks almost like a brass instrument drawn by Dr. Seuss, with piping connecting in several joints. If something is physically wrong with the solenoid, the component specifically responsible for making the switch from one function to another, it can simply be replaced by a technician.
  • Electrical: Although a chief selling point of heat pumps is that they use less energy than many other heating and cooling systems, they do require some electricity. If that electrical charge is not making it to the reversing valve, it won’t be able to switch functions. Of course, electrical problems can be hazardous if not handled by trained professionals.
  • Refrigerant: If there is a leak somewhere in your system, and it has lost refrigerant, it won’t be able to switch between functions. Not only that, it won’t be performing either function efficiently. Because of this, and because refrigerant must only be handled by someone licensed to do so, you should schedule repairs immediately.

Reach out to Wall Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. today.

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