Temperatures aren’t quite cool enough to start using our heaters regularly, yet, but soon enough you’ll be switching yours on. If you’re using a heat pump, this means switching the system from cooling mode to heating mode. But, what happens if your Savannah, GA heat pump is stuck in cooling mode?
Fortunately, you do have our team to call on when you have a problem like this, or any other sort of trouble with your HVAC system. In the meantime, however, read on for an explanation as to why this might be happening.
Understanding Refrigerant Flow
When your heat pump is in cooling mode, refrigerant circulates through the outside and inside components of your system. It absorbs heat from the inside of your home, and expels it outdoors, while going through a process to bring cooled air into your home. When in heating mode, ideally this process is reversed through a component called the reversing valve, allowing the refrigerant to flow in the opposite direction.
There are a few different components related to this that might have a problem that prevents your heat pump from switching modes to provide your home with effective heating. Keep reading to learn more.
- The Sliding Cylinder: The sliding cylinder is responsible for changing the flow of refrigerant once you switch modes on the thermostat. While the reversing valve is tasked with enabling the refrigerant in the heat pump to reverse into cooling mode and vice versa, the sliding cylinder is essential to the process.
- Check Valves: This component is there to automatically prevent backflow (reverse flow) when fluid in the line changes direction. They’re self-automated, however, they can get stuck and prevent your heat pump from effectively switching to heating mode.
- Thermostat: As the brain of your system, this component should never be overlooked. When your heat pump experiences issues, it might not be a problem with the actual system at all but rather with your thermostat. The good news is, this is probably going to be a much easier and less expensive fix for you! Be sure to consult a professional before determining this is the cause, though.
Beware a Refrigerant Leak
So, what if your heat pump has switched to heating mode, but the air coming into your living space doesn’t feel like it should? If your heat pump struggles to provide your living space with heated air, then you may have a refrigerant leak.
Some homeowners mistakenly assume that heat pump systems naturally lose refrigerant over time—like automobiles lose gasoline. However, refrigerant isn’t actually meant to dissipate. In fact, your heat pup system is supplied with enough refrigerant upon installation that it should ideally last the entire lifecycle of the system.
So, if your system is losing refrigerant, it means there is a leak. A refrigerant leak prevents your heat pump from effectively doing its job, and is damaging to system, leading to a potential premature breakdown among other repair needs.