If you have a heat pump HVAC system in your home, you are likely to be aware just how versatile this type of equipment can be. Unfortunately, no equipment is immune to problems, and once in awhile, you may find that your heat pump is having difficulties switching modes. There can be a number of reasons for this, and while it is not advisable to start tinkering with your heat pump, you can become a little more familiar with your equipment, so you can spot the signs of a problem. Your heat pump is a complicated piece of equipment, so if you are struggling to switch your device into heating mode, you may need to call in professional help.

Solenoid Problems:

Above your reversing valve, which allows the heat pump to switch between cooling and heating modes, is a solenoid. This electronic component provides the initial movement the reversing valve sliding mechanism needs to move. The wiring can go bad on solenoids, or the actual component can fail, and this is usually enough to cause issues switching modes.

Refrigerant Leaks:

A refrigerant leak can develop almost anywhere in your heat pump system. Obviously, any leak can be a serious matter, but if it occurs in the reversing valve, it can cause problems with the system switching modes. A leak in the reversing valve can prevent correct operation and limits the system’s ability to switch modes when needed.

A Stuck Valve:

Inside the reversing valve is a mechanism that needs to slide back and forth to change the direction of the refrigerant flow. The sliding action causes the heat pump to provide either cooling or heating, but sometimes the valve can become stuck. If the valve is stuck in cooling mode or a position between cooling and heating, it will prevent the heat pump to switch over into heating mode.

Minimizing Problems:

Of course, if you find that your heat pump cannot be switched to heating mode, you will need to call in professional help, but you can minimize the risk of problems with routine maintenance. Most manufacturers recommend having heating equipment once a year, usually before winter, to ensure that your system is ready to handle the frequent use. Regular servicing will also allow an opportunity for preventative maintenance, where minor components, such as the solenoid or valves can be checked and replaced if they are starting to show signs of wear. This relatively minor repair, will not only save you on the more expensive bills, but will reduce the risk of a fault preventing your system from keeping you warm and cozy on the coldest winter days.

Heat pumps are a reliable form of both heating and cooling your home, but they still need a little care and attention from time to time. If you are having issues with your heat pump, it is a good idea to call in an experienced professional. An HVAC specialist can check your system, quickly diagnose any issues and complete any necessary repairs, so you won’t be left in the cold.