Heat pumps are incredibly popular, thanks in large part to their efficiency and versatility. During the summer months, heat pumps can keep your home cool and comfortable, but they also provide efficient and effective heating during wintertime. Unfortunately, there are some instances when a heat pump starts blowing cold air when you need your system to keep your home warm and toasty. If your heat pump is making your home even colder when you need heat, the team at Mackey Services is here to diagnose and repair the problem. Learn more about some possible reasons for your heat pump cooling when you need it to heat your home.

1. Thermostat Issues

When a thermostat malfunctions, it can result in your heat pump blowing cold air. The first reason could be that the owner has set the thermostat’s temperature settings too low. Therefore, the thermostat is blowing cold air, the temperature it has been instructed to operate at. This is perhaps the easiest issue to fix, as telling the thermostat to go into “Heat” mode is as easy as pressing a button. You should also make sure that your fan is set to “Auto” instead of “On.” This is because when the fan is set to “On”, it will blow cold air into your home since the fan is operating constantly.

The temperature sensor could also have malfunctioned, prompting it to give the wrong data to the thermostat. For example, if the sensor indicates that your home’s temperature is already high, your heat pump blows cold air to lower the temperature to the one the homeowner desires. An HVAC professional can promptly rectify this issue by replacing the sensor and testing the thermostat to see if it works correctly.

2. Lack of Maintenance

Skipping out on regular heating maintenance jeopardizes the health of your heat pump. During routine maintenance, technicians clean and replace several components, including air filters. Dirty air filters restrict the amount of air reaching the heat pump. Because of the reduced airflow, the heat pump heats insufficient air, causing it to blow cold air. Consult HVAC experts from Mackey Services to understand when to change your air filters. Typically, most air filters are replaced after three months. Call an HVAC expert to perform regular maintenance on your system and ensure it’s running optimally.

3. Refrigerant Issues

Refrigerant is a critical component of a heat pump that absorbs heat from the outside air. If the refrigerant runs low, your heat pump will blow cold air. The refrigerant circulates through the heat pump and absorbs heat, then carries the heat inside your home. If it’s low, there will be reduced heat transfer, which means the pump will not effectively operate. This issue requires an HVAC professional to fix, and that is due to the safety concerns around handling the refrigerant. It is a dangerous substance that should only be taken by an expert. The refrigerant often gets low because there might be a leakage somewhere, causing your refrigerant levels to deplete. This is usually due to wear and tear in the system or other physical damages.

4. Dirty Outdoor Unit

Heat pumps draw heat from the outdoor air and circulate it throughout your home. During the cold season, your heat pump’s outdoor unit may be exposed to extreme weather conditions. Dirt, debris, snow, sand and dust may accumulate around the unit and clog your system’s evaporator coils. When evaporator coils become clogged, your unit has to work harder than usual and may eventually malfunction or fail, causing it to blow cold air instead of warm air. An HVAC professional from Mackey Services can inspect the unit and conduct an expert cleaning of it and its evaporator coils. Remember to schedule regular professional tune-ups to minimize such instances.

5. Faulty Reversing Valve

In heat pumps, reversing valves are necessary to switch the heat pump from cooling to heating. When the reverse valve becomes faulty, your heat pump may find it harder to switch back to heating mode, causing it to continue to blow cold air into your home. If you suspect this might be the case, promptly contact an HVAC professional to diagnose and replace the faulty reversing valve. Your heat pump will return to normal operation and blow warm air again.

6. Defrost Cycle

Heat pumps undergo a defrost cycle to remove the ice or frost accumulating in the system’s outdoor unit. As it undergoes this cycle, you may experience short periods of the heat pump blowing cold air into your home. The heat pump temporarily switches to air conditioning mode to heat the outdoor coils and melt the frost or accumulated ice. After a short period, the unit is expected to switch back to heating mode and produce warm air for your home. However, if it persists in blowing cold air, it could indicate a much more severe problem, and you should call HVAC experts to check the unit and fix it.

7. Electrical Issues

Electrical issues may also cause your heat pump to start blowing cold air. Faulty electrical connections or damaged wires can cause your heat pump to malfunction. You should only let a licensed professional handle such issues. They will inspect all the wiring and correct any problems, restoring your heat pump to good working condition.

8. Your Heat Pump Has Run Its Course

Occasionally, heat pumps blow cold air when its lifespan has expired. Heat pumps usually last between 10 to 15 years, depending on their care and maintenance level. Once that period has expired, your unit will likely break down and blow cold air. Its efficiency reduces as its parts wear out until it breaks down and blows cold air. Consult your HVAC professional to determine whether your unit has run its course. Once confirmed, an HVAC expert from Mackey Services will help you replace your heat pump with the right one for your home. The expert makes several considerations, including the size of your home and its energy requirements. The expert can then help you correctly install your unit in your home.

Ensuring your heat pump operates optimally is crucial for maintaining a comfortable home environment. If your heat pump is blowing cold air, it could be due to a variety of issues ranging from thermostat sensor problems, lack of maintenance, refrigerant issues, a dirty outdoor unit, faulty reversing valve, issues with the defrost cycle, electrical problems, or simply because the unit has outlived its lifespan. Each issue requires a professional approach for a proper diagnosis and resolution. Schedule regular maintenance with Mackey Services to prevent these issues and ensure your heat pump works efficiently. However, if you notice persistent problems, it might be time to consult an HVAC professional about replacing your unit.

We also offer comprehensive heating, cooling, electrical and landscaping services in Greater Houston and the surrounding areas. Some of the services include repairing, installing and maintaining ACs, heat pumps, mini splits, smart thermostats, indoor air quality and electrical panels. We also deal with ceiling fans, EV charging stations, generators and surge protection. Contact Mackey Services today for exceptional HVAC, electrical, indoor air quality and landscaping solutions.

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