It’s never pleasant to turn on your heat pump, expecting heat, only to be greeted with a flow of cool air instead. It does sometimes happen, however. If your heat pump isn’t putting out enough heat, there are a couple of possible reasons why. Let’s take a look at what problems can cause a loss of heat output, and when to call for repairs.
Broken Reversing Valve
Heat pumps don’t burn fuel to generate heat, as most heating systems do. Instead, they evaporate and condense refrigerant to move preexisting heat from one place to another. The heat pump is able to act as either a heating or air conditioning system thanks to a part called the reversing valve, which changes the direction that refrigerant flows through the system. There are two primary parts in the reversing valve. The slide moves between two positions to dictate the flow of refrigerant, and the solenoid is an electromagnet that pulls the slide. If the slide becomes stuck, or the solenoid loses its charge, then the valve will not be able to operate properly. If your heat pump seems to be stuck in cooling mode, this is more than likely why.
As mentioned above, refrigerant is the liquid that makes it possible for the heat pump to move heat from one place to the other. The level of refrigerant in the system is always the same, as the liquid is recycled back and forth between the two units. If a leak develops in the refrigerant line, it will drain the refrigerant from the system until it can no longer transfer heat properly. This will eventually cause the system to break down. If you notice fluid dripping from your heat pump, call for repairs immediately.