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Why is Your Heat Pump Blowing Cold Air in Heating Mode?

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Heat pumps are a great way to save money on heating and cooling costs. They take up less space, cost less to install and can be highly efficient when in the right home. Heat pumps work by extracting heat from outside air and then passing through a series of coils which work to heat the air even more. However, because of the way they function, they may cause problems every now and then.  

One of the most common problems that heat pump owners have is the system blowing cold air when in heating mode. To schedule a repair for your heat pump, give Cardinal Plumbing, Heating and Air a call at 703-721-8888

Continue reading for reasons why your heat pump may be blowing cool air. 

6 Reasons Why Your Heat Pump is Blowing Cool Air

There are quite a few reasons why your heat pump could be blowing cool air when in heating mode. Take a look at this list of six reasons why this may be happening:

  1. The Heat Pump is in Defrost Mode
    Sometimes heat pumps may become frozen if it is too cold outside. When this happens, your heat pump will switch to defrost mode. During this cycle, your pump will start to move heat from inside your home to the outdoor unit to help melt the ice. This is essentially what happens when you switch your heat pump to cooling mode. Because of this, cool air will start coming through your vents.Once the system has melted all of the ice, it will switch back to heating mode. To check if your system really is in defrost mode, head outside and look at the outdoor unit. If you can see ice or frost on it then it is most likely in defrost mode. However, if your system is still producing cool air hours after you first noticed it then you should call a technician.
  2. It Needs More Time to Heat Up
    Sometimes when you first turn on your heat pump, it may feel like it is blowing cool air. This is because the system needs more time to heat up. These systems draw hot air from outside and bring it inside. While it is usually not an issue, occasionally when the temperature dips below 30º it becomes harder for your system to draw heat inside. Give it thirty minutes to an hour and it should make your home nice and toasty. If it is taking too long to heat up, be sure to call your contractor for HVAC repair.
  3. Problems With the Reversing Valve
    All heat pumps have a reversing valve that works to change the system from cooling to heating mode. If this valve is broken or stuck then your heat pump may not be switching to heating mode. The reversing valve is inside of the system. So, even if you have clicked the button or flipped the switch that changes modes for your heat pump, the internal mechanics of the system may not be functioning properly. Give your heating specialist a call if you suspect that your heat pump is having an issue with the reversing valve.
  4. The Heat Pump is Frozen
    When temperatures drop, your heat pump may become frozen. This means that it may not be able to produce hot air. Check your outdoor unit to see if it is showing any signs of being frozen. Do not attempt to defrost the heat pump yourself by pouring hot water on it. This often causes even more issues and could potentially damage your heat pump beyond the point of repair.Your heat pump should automatically set itself to defrost mode, if it doesn’t then you can do this yourself. The system will switch back to heating mode once it has been properly defrosted. If it doesn’t defrost after a few hours you may want to give your heating and cooling technician a call.
  5. Low Refrigerant Levels
    Refrigerants help to draw heat from outside the home and bring it inside the home. If your heat pump has a leak in the refrigerant line, then your system may not be able to effectively heat your home. A refrigerant leak needs to be taken care of by a professional right away. Never try to clean up refrigerants by yourself.It is also possible that the system just needs more refrigerant. Every once in a while, all HVAC systems require a refill on refrigerant. This also needs to be taken care of by a professional. Give your technician a call to book an appointment for HVAC maintenance.
  6. Thermostat Setting Issues
    It’s easy to accidentally bump your thermostat to the wrong setting. Be sure to check that you have your thermostat to ‘heat’ and that the fan is set to ‘auto’ and not ‘on’. The fan setting is especially important. When a heat pump is set to ‘on’, it will continuously blow air out.
    If the heat pump has detected that the home has reached the desired temperature then it will stop heating the air but the fan will continue to blow it out. When it is set to ‘auto’, the fan will only turn on when the heat pump is heating the home.

Sometimes thermostats can become broken or have electrical issues. Talk to your heating and cooling specialist if you believe that your thermostat needs to be rewired or replaced. 

Dependable Ashburn HVAC Services

For excellent HVAC Ashburn, VA services, contact Cardinal Plumbing, Heating and Air. Our team is ready to take on any HVAC challenge. From a heat pump that is blowing unwanted cold air to a furnace with a cracked heat exchanger, we have got the expertise and knowledge to lend a hand. It is our top priority at Cardinal to provide only the best possible service through quality workmanship and affordability.

Next time you need HVAC and plumbing service, give our team at Cardinal Plumbing, Heating and Air a call at 703-721-8888 or book an appointment online. 

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