Heat pumps are incredibly efficient and effective heating systems, with many unique advantages due to their design. They also happen to be quite complex, which means there are more ways for them to malfunction. If your heat pump is not providing any heat, there are a few different things that could be causing the issue. Let’s take a look at what can cause your heat pump to lose its heating ability, and what you can do about it.
Unit Icing Over
There are two primary units that comprise a heat pump, the indoor unit and the outdoor unit. When the heat is turned on, the outdoor unit siphons thermal energy from the air and sends it inside to heat the home. The outdoor unit siphons thermal energy by evaporating refrigerant in a coil located inside the unit. There are two side effects to this process. First, the temperature in the surrounding air drops as heat is sucked from it. Two, condensation forms on the coil and the outside of the casing. The combination of condensation and cold air causes the moisture to form ice on the unit. If left alone, the ice will build up until it covers the unit completely. This cuts the coil off from its supply of thermal energy, leading to the lack of warm air coming from the heat pump.
Normally, a heat pump will use a defrost cycle to melt the ice off of the outdoor unit. However, if the defrost cycle fails there is nothing to prevent the ice from covering the unit. If your outdoor unit is covered in ice that isn’t shrinking over time, it’s a good sign that your defrost cycle is broken.
Broken Reversing Valve
As you probably already know, heat pumps are capable of both heating and cooling functions. This is accomplished be reversing the direction that refrigerant flows through the system. Depending on which way the refrigerant is flowing, one unit will siphon thermal energy from the air while the other expels it. This control is accomplished by the reversing valve, which is located at a 4-way junction in the refrigerant line. If the reversing valve becomes stuck, however, it can lock the heat pump into one function or the other. If your heat pump is blowing cold air instead of warm, it might be because of a broken reversing valve.
If you’re having trouble with your heat pump and looking for professional heating repair service in the Kettering area, call The Furnace Man Heating & Cooling, LLC today to schedule an appointment.