Why Your Heat Pump Can’t Switch to Cooling Mode
With temperatures already in the 80’s, Comfort Bear is going to go out on a limb here and assume you’ve already tried to switch your year-round heat pump from heating mode to cooling mode. If not, I am super impressed! But then again, I’m a bear—I literally can’t take that much heat.
Anyway, if you’ve just tried to switch modes to discover it won’t actually go into cooling mode, what can you do? Assume that your HVAC system has broken down completely, throw it out, and rush out to buy a new one? No, no, we’re not going to encourage that at all.
Instead, give us a call for an inspection and potential repair, and in the meantime read on to learn what could be causing this problem, and discover some solutions, straight from the Comfort Bear:
There’s a Problem with the Refrigerant Flow
This is the most basic answer to a heat pump that won’t switch modes—it means that the refrigerant isn’t flowing correctly, but why?
What happens during heat pump operation during heating mode is that refrigerant circulates through the inside and outside component of the system, and absorbs heat from the outside air and moves it indoors. When it’s supposed to switch back into cooling mode, ideally a component called the reversing valve will activate in order to help refrigerant flow in the opposite direction.
A component called a check valve is also responsible for helping the refrigerant avoid some portions it must pass through in heating mode, and vice-versa in cooling mode. So when your heat pump won’t shift from one mode to the other, it means that the refrigerant isn’t flowing correctly, and there could be one of three components to blame:
The Sliding Cylinder
Ideally, this component is supposed to kick in to reverse the flow of refrigerant once you switch your system into a different mode. While the reversing valve is responsible for enabling the refrigerant in the heat pump to do this, the sliding cylinder within the valve is vital to the whole process.
We mentioned this component above—it is designed to automatically prevent backflow (reverse flow) when fluid in the line reverses direction. These are self-automated components, but they can get stuck. And when that happens, refrigerant can go where it’s not supposed to go, therefore disallowing your heat pump from switching modes.
Last, but definitely not least, your actual heat pump may not be to blame at all! You could have a faulty or even a miscalibrated thermostat. Be sure to check with our professionals to see what the root cause of your problem is, but first check your thermostat. Is the temperature displaying correctly? Is it set to cooling mode? Even the Comfort Bear can be forgetful every now and then—it’s always best to double check!
For Comfort & Care from the Team with the Bear, contact Climate Control Heating & Cooling. The Comfort Bear can handle all your heat pump needs, including expert air conditioning repair in Blue Spring, MO.