Summer is here, and the days are getting pretty warm. So, you fire up your heat pump and switch it to cooling mode. Except your heat pump doesn’t start circulating cool air. Instead, it keeps pumping out the same warm air that it has been all winter. What’s going on? If your heat pump appears to be stuck in one mode, you have a problem with your reversing valve. Let’s take a closer look at what the reversing valve does, and what can be done to fix it.
What Is the Reversing Valve?
A heat pump is able to act as both a heater and air conditioner because it can reverse the direction of the refrigerant that flows through its system. Depending on the direction, the refrigerant will absorb heat from one area and release it in another. What allows the heat pump to do this is a part called the reversing valve. This is a 4-way valve that has a slide inside it, which directs the flow of refrigerant. The slide is controlled by an electromagnet called the solenoid, which pulls it to one side of the valve or the other.
Reversing Valve Problems
If your reversing valve is having trouble, there are two possibilities. First, the slide is physically stuck. This can be fixed by having a professional open up the valve and free the slide from whatever was preventing it from moving. Second, the solenoid may have lost its charge. If the solenoid no longer has a magnetic pull, it can’t move the slide to switch modes. This is what causes your heat pump to become stuck in one mode.
If your heat pump is stuck in one mode, call Switzerland Air. We repair heat pumps throughout Lake Jackson, TX.