There are two things about heat pumps that make them absolutely amazing. The first is their efficiency, especially when it comes to heating. Since they only transfer heat rather than having to generate it, they use less energy in comparison to other heating systems such as furnaces.
The second is their ability to function both as heating systems and as air conditioners. But when that ability is compromised, it can cause incredible frustration. What good is this amazing system when it can’t do the jobs it’s designed to do? If your heat pump won’t switch modes, there’s one component which is responsible: the reversing valve. We’ll tell you everything you need to know.
How Heat Pumps Work
Your heat pump is a reversible air conditioner. In the outdoor unit, a compressor pressurizes refrigerant so it will flow through a system of coils. That refrigerant can soak up heat from one location and then dissipate that heat in another location. Whether it carries heat out of the home or brings it into the home is controlled by the reversing valve.
The Reversing Valve
This is a strange-looking contraption, almost like the valves of a trumpet, but instead of giving you music, it gives you control over whether your heat pump warms or cools your home. There are three places where refrigerant can flow through. Inside the reversing valve, there is a slider. By sliding to cover or uncover those places, it forces the refrigerant to flow in one direction or the other.
How does the slider move? The pressure that causes the movement is created by a solenoid. This science-fiction-sounding word refers to a spring-shaped electromagnet, which applies force when electricity flows through it and stops applying force when there is no flow of electricity.
When the solenoid receives an electrical charge, it is energized, and the slider moves to the “active” position. When there’s no charge, the solenoid is de-energized, and slides back to its rest position. This means that without an electrical charge, the slider will stay stuck in one position, and you will need heat pump repair in Pensacola, FL.
Possible Causes of Reversing Valve Trouble
There are three places where the critical electrical charge can fail.
- The Thermostat: This is where the signal originates, and a miscalibrated or malfunctioning thermostat might simply fail to send the signal for the heat pump to come on at all.
- The Wiring: The thermostat is connected to the solenoid by electrical wiring, and if it is loose or disconnected, the signal won’t make it through.
- The Solenoid: Electromagnets don’t last forever. This component may simply need to be replaced.
If you’ve got a problem with your heat pump, there’s no need to suffer! Prompt repair can get your home back to being comfortable in no time. It can also reduce the risk that a problem will get bigger. A struggling heat pump can put unnecessary strain on the system and lead to further repair needs or damage to the compressor. Get the help you need right away!
Contact the team at Commander Air Inc. Your hometown heating and cooling specialist for three generations.