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heat pump installed in front of the house

When you wake up on a bitterly cold morning, a heat pump that circulates cold air through your home is the last thing you want to experience. But don’t rush to trust your body when it concerns identifying whether the air coming out of the vent is cold or not, especially when you are new to heat pumps.

First of all, try measuring the air temperature with an accurate thermometer before reaching out for any professional help, our brains often deceive us! There might be a problem if there is no difference between the return and supply temperatures.

Before diving into other reasons that might be causing your heat pump to blow cold air, also try doing these two things:

  • Check whether the thermostat is set to “AUTO,” not “ON.” With the “ON” mode, your fan may stay on when your heat pump isn’t actually heating.
  • After turning off the heat at the thermostat, check whether your air filter is dirty. If yes, change it!

Now, let’s look at some more reasons.

Your Heat Pump is In Defrost Mode

One of the most common reasons for your heat pump blowing cold air is its defrost mode. A heat pump itself works in such a way that it captures heat from the air and then moves it elsewhere. In winter, a heat pump condenses outdoor air until it’s warm enough to keep everyone indoors comfortable. Heat captured from the air in your house is directed to the outdoor unit to melt the ice.

So, while being in defrost mode, your heat pump redirects hot air to melt ice formations on the outdoor unit, which would be challenging to remove without damaging the unit itself. Running defrost mode means no heat will be released indoors until the cycle is complete.

Try to maintain at least two to three feet of clearance around the system to prevent this problem.

Problems With The Reversing Valve

The reversing valve is an element that stands directly on the refrigerant line, which allows heat exchange to occur due to its chemical mixture. Such a chemical mixture is something that lets your heat pump be used in both heating and cooling modes. After a current is applied to the valve, it changes the flow of the refrigerant, and the unit starts heating instead of cooling (or vice versa).

However, there might be a problem with the reversing valve that will make the heat pump switch to cooling mode. For example, the valve can get stuck.

In this case, you would be well-advised to call a professional, but if you are confident and qualified in working with electricity, then try out these things:

  • First, make sure the valve is energized. Check the voltage at the solenoid coil with a voltmeter, and hold a screwdriver next to the coil to ensure the presence of the magnetic field.
  • Secondly, check whether there is a pressure difference between the high side and the low side. In case there is no pressure difference, the valve won’t be able to work.
  • Finally, when you’ve convinced yourself that the valve is stuck, take the handle of the screwdriver and carefully tap it on one side of the valve. This might free the element.

Refrigerant Leaks

One more possible reason for your heat pump blowing cold air is refrigerant leaks. As the liquid refrigerant vaporizes into a gas, it draws heat from the air. In the summer, warmed air is directed outdoors, and during winter, it keeps it indoors. The heat pump simply won’t work if a leak emerges in the system. The refrigerant level becomes too low to extract enough heat from the air.

Bear in mind that this isn’t an easy-to-fix issue. As refrigerant leaks release harmful substances into the atmosphere, it may be dangerous for your health. Turn to licensed HVAC technicians authorized to repair such leaks and recharge the system.

The Heat Pump Doesn’t Suit Your House

Buying a new heat pump may be a daunting task, as the unit may not be suitable for your house. The system may be too small or might not have been installed properly. In cases such as this, it can fail to adequately warm up the house.

When choosing a heat pump, you should consider a a wide variety of aspects such as the size of the house, the quality of the windows, climate, the quality of insulation, and the number of people living in the house.

Call Meadow Air for Your Heating and Cooling Needs

If you are still asking yourself, “Why Is My Heat Pump Blowing Cold Air?” don’t drag your feet, call a team of professionals! Meadow Air is here to help you.

We provide the most reliable HVAC services in Phoenix AZ and the surrounding areas. Whether you need a maintenance check, furnace tune-up, or an emergency repair on a heating or cooling unit, we do it all.

Moreover, check out our HVAC blog for more tips and helpful information regarding heating and cooling systems.

Call us today for more information! 602-726-4666