Jul 05

Why Is My Heat Pump Blowing Hot Air In Cool Mode?

image of a homeowner using a fan to keep cool due to heat pump blowing hot air in cool mode

Heat pumps are highly versatile since they offer comfort throughout the year. You can use the heat pump to warm your home if it gets too cold in the winter. You can also use it to cool your house down when it feels too hot in the summer. It is easy to switch between cooling and heating modes and change the temperature settings. However, there are times homeowners find that their heat pump blowing hot air in cool mode. This article discusses some of the common causes of this heat pump problem.

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Why Is My Heat Pump Blowing Hot Air in Cool Mode?

Much like all machinery, heat pumps are very durable. However, they are not indestructible. A common issue when a heat pump malfunctions is that it blows warm air during the cooling cycle. Therefore, homeowners should familiarize themselves with the common culprits for this problem. Doing so will lessen the chances of this problem recurring when you understand the reasons behind this heat pump issue. In some cases, you can also conduct basic troubleshooting on your heat pump before turning to professional technicians for help in conducting advanced solutions.

Here are seven causes that you should check when your heat pump blows hot air in cool mode:

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A Broken Heat Pump Reversing Valve

heat pump operationThe reversing valve of a heat pump is the crucial factor in its versatility. The unit will either collect heat inside the home and release it outdoors or collect heat outdoors and carry it indoors, per the setting you input. The valve directs the refrigerant’s flow to reach the set temperatures. A broken reversing valve means that the heat pump cannot do its job. The solution typically requires valve replacement and topping up the system’s refrigerant. It is a complex task that only a trained HVAC technician can do.

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Heat Pump Thermostat Problem

image of thermostat

In many cases, the heat pump malfunctions because of incorrect thermostat settings. The heat pump may be programmed to run with the fan only so it blows warm air throughout your home. Check the settings to ensure that the unit is running in cool mode. Someone might have accidentally changed it, so you need to correct it. If your thermostat uses batteries, then check them. The battery might be low so change them with new ones. Inspect the breakers as well. They might have tripped, so you need to reset them.

If the problem remains, you may have a defective thermostat in your hands. The only solution is to replace it with a new thermostat. Old manual thermostats are outdated and should be replaced anyway, so this is a good opportunity to do it. Buying a basic programmable thermostat doesn’t require spending a lot of money. However, you will receive great features, such as increased efficiency and comfort, when you spend a little more.

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Heat Pump Refrigerant Loss

Heat pumps don’t produce their own heat as furnaces do. Instead, they are equipped with refrigerants that gather the heat from one place and release it in another. Insufficient refrigerant levels mean the system cannot work as intended. The reversing valve may work well and the thermostat in its correct setting, but the unit still blows hot air during cool mode. A coolant leak is likely causing the low refrigerant levels. A licensed technician can resolve the issue through leak repairs and adding more refrigerant.

Clogged Air Filter On Heat Pump

dirty heat pump filter

The heat pump air filter catches dirt and dust. They become trapped on the surface of the filter while air passes freely. However, the dirt can build up and block the air passage. The restricted flow of air strains the heat pump’s operation. This is easy to remedy as it only requires air filter cleaning to remove the blockage. An even better solution is to replace it with a new filter. Check the manufacturer’s manual to determine the suggested frequency of cleaning and replacing the filter. Remember that the environmental conditions where your home is located may mean you have to change the filters at a higher frequency.

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Heat Pump Ductwork Leak

hvac air ducts

Air ducts are affected by normal wear and tear as time passes. If you have old ductwork, it may be leaking out air. This prevents the ducts from properly distributing conditioned air throughout your home. As a result, some rooms in your home feel colder or warmer than others. It can be hard to pinpoint the precise location of the leaks. Contact an HVAC technician to help you. Fixing duct leaks helps improve air distribution, reduces energy usage, and lowers utility bills. Have an expert repair the ducts immediately and enjoy long-term savings and comfort.

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Dirty Heat Pump Coil

image of dirt on heat pump coils

The heat pump’s outdoor unit is likely to accumulate dirt and debris. Consider how much dust, grass clippings, dried leaves, and other debris are in the environment. These will certainly make the heat pump dirty after some time. As a result, the outdoor unit’s ability to expel or absorb heat via the coils is restricted. Regularly cleaning the outdoor unit helps prevent this issue. Hose it down with water at low to medium pressure to get rid of loose dirt. Hosing it down using high water pressure can cause damage to the unit, so be mindful of the settings. Use a light brush to remove any stubborn spots.

The indoor coils should be cleaned as well. You may want an HVAC technician to help you with this task as this component is harder to access. Heat pump maintenance services are quite affordable, and you can get excellent results with them.

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Frosted Indoor Coil On Heat Pump

A frosted indoor coil can be another reason behind the faulty heat pump. It may not make sense that a frosted coil can result in warm air in cool mode. However, it is very logical if you understand how heat pumps operate. Freezing happens when water from the air condenses around the indoor coil due to low temperatures. The ice stops the coil from accumulating heat, so the unit doesn’t work as it should. The heat pump needs some downtime to repair this. Put the system in fan mode after, so warm air is forced through the coils, and the unit defrosts faster.


Do I Repair or Replace the Heat Pump?

Homeowners often wonder when they need to repair the unit versus replace the entire heat pump. Here are some factors to consider before arriving at a final decision:

  • Heat Pump Warranty: Check the system’s warranty. If it is still under warranty, use it to get free parts replacement and labor fees. It is more practical to keep the unit until the warranty becomes void.
  • Heat Pump Age: Heat pumps generally have a lifespan of a decade or more. There are more chances that it succumbs to wear and tear when it reaches the 10-year mark. It will likely need HVAC repairs more often, and not many homeowners want to deal with these problems. Get a new heat pump system if you want a reliable one.
  • Heat Pump Repair Vs. Heat Pump Replacement Cost: Calculate and compare the repair costs versus HVAC replacement costs. Include your repair bills in the last few years and an estimation of future expenses. It may turn out that getting a new heat pump is cheaper than keeping your old one.
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Heat pumps help you have a comfortable home at any season. It can blow cold air during the summer and hot air during the winter. You need to look into the problem if it blows hot air while in cool mode. The cause is likely one of those listed above. Call a licensed HVAC professional to assist you immediately.

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image of skylands energy service logoWhen you need superior heating and cooling services in central New Jersey, don’t hesitate to call Skylands Energy Service. We have the best highly skilled and professionally certified technicians on staff for all your HVAC service needs, including air conditioner tune-ups, mini-split repairs, boiler installations, furnace replacements, and more. Each of our friendly techs has the knowledge, training, and experience to service your HVAC system correctly.

Our company guarantees highly affordable HVAC service prices in the locality. Our maintenance services help enhance your energy efficiency and improve your comfort while reducing your home energy costs. If you need to repair or replace your HVAC system, we can recommend the most suitable solution for your home that’s within your budget. All of our work is guaranteed to ensure your satisfaction. Book a service appointment, and give Skylands Energy Service a call today. We offer free, in-home estimates.

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