Red Rock Mechanical, LLC Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Heat Pump Repair’

Why Won’t My Heat Pump Turn to Heating Mode?

Monday, February 12th, 2024


As the temperatures drop, relying on your heat pump to keep your home warm becomes crucial. However, encountering an issue where your heat pump refuses to switch to heating mode can be both frustrating and concerning. In this blog post, we will explore various reasons why your heat pump may not be sending out hot air, with a particular focus on the often-overlooked culprit: the broken reversing valve.

If you run into trouble with your heat pump, you can always call our team for swift and effective heat pump repair in Plattsburgh, NY and the surrounding area.

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How Can a Heat Pump Get Heat From Outside in Winter?

Monday, March 4th, 2019


This is a common question people have when they first hear about how a heat pump works. The conversation usually goes something like this …

HVAC Tech: A heat pump is basically like an air conditioner. But it can work in reverse.

Homeowner: What happens when an AC runs in “reverse”?

HVAC Tech: Well, normally an AC draws heat from out of your house. That’s why the air feels cooler indoors.

Homeowner: I thought an AC generated cooling.

HVAC Tech: Cooling is the lack of heat. The AC takes the heat away, making the air cooler. But the AC has to put that heat somewhere, so it releases it outdoors. Now imagine doing it the other way. A heat pump when in heating mode draws heat from the outside and releases it indoors. Presto! Home heating.

Homeowner: Oh, I see. But … wait a minute, I’m only going to run the heat pump in heating mode when it’s cold. So that means the heat pump is bringing in heat from the cold air outside?

HVAC Tech: Yes.

Homeowner: How does that work? It’s … cold outdoors!

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Two Winter Heat Pump Problems—That Aren’t Really Problems

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

Heat pumps have improved so much over the past decade that they are now practical in colder areas. Our winters are mighty chilly, but if you have the right heat pump installation from our experts, you can expect the system to make it through the season without trouble.

If this is your first winter using a heat pump, you might run into some behavior from it that will seem alarming. Actually, these odd-seeming occurrences are normal. If you know what to look for, you won’t need to panic and call for repairs.

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Reasons There Is Frost on Your Heat Pump

Monday, December 14th, 2015

Heat pumps have become increasingly popular as home comfort solutions. They offer both air conditioning and heating in a single unit, and developments in technology have significantly improved their ability to work energy efficiently during colder weather. As you turn your heat pump to heating mode for the winter, you might notice frost developing along the outdoor coil and cabinet. Is this normal, or a sign that the heat pump needs repairs?

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My Heat Pump Won’t Switch from Cooling Mode! What’s Wrong?

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

The very last thing you want or expect when you turn your heater is for cold air to start venting into your house. In the case of heat pumps, this is an uncommon but frustrating problem. Fortunately, there is a fairly simple solution, though your HVAC technician will need to be the one to implement it. Before we explain what causes this problem, we have to understand how the heat pump switches between modes.

The Reversing Valve

Inside every heat pump is a part called a “reversing valve.” This valve sits at the junction of the central unit exhaust valve, intake valve, and both the indoor and outdoor unit lines. Inside this valve is a slide that controls which direction the refrigerant flows through the system. Depending on the direction, either the indoor or outdoor unit will blow hot air while the other blows cool air. This is what allows the heat pump to change modes.

Attached to the reversing valve is a solenoid, which operates an electro-magnet in the valve itself. The solenoid has two modes: “relaxed” and “energized.” All this really means is whether or not it has an electrical current running through it. When the solenoid is energized it activates an electromagnet which moves the slide from one position to the other and reverses the flow of refrigerant.

Common Problems with the Reversing Valve

Most often, the reason the heat pump gets stuck on one mode or the other is because the solenoid on the reversing valve is bad. If the solenoid is not working properly, it can’t move the slide from one side of the valve to the other. This essentially removes the heat pump’s ability to switch freely between heating and cooling modes.

So how can this be fixed? Often, the first thing an HVAC technician will do is check the solenoid for a magnetic charge. If it is displaying a charge, then something else might be responsible. Often, however, the solution is simply to replace the solenoid.

Call Red Rock Mechanical today if you are experiencing heat pump problems. Our comprehensive heating repair service cover the entire Montpelier, VT area.

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