February 15, 2024

HVAC services

Why Is My Heat Pump Blowing Cold Air?

With the cooler temperatures experienced during the winter, your heat pump should be able to provide reliable warmth all through the season. However, circumstances may lead to your heating pump blowing cold air while it’s in heat mode. This can be unpleasant and make your home uncomfortable during the winter. There are various factors why your heat pump isn’t working; the problems can need simple or complex fixes that require a professional to handle. Below are some various reasons why your heat pump is blowing cold air.

Your Heat Pump Is in Defrost Mode

A heat pump can generate warm and cold air during different stages of compression and condensation. During the winter, a drop in the outside temperature could lead to freezing of your pump’s outdoor unit. The defrost mode enables the system to thaw the ice from the outdoor unit. This mechanism allows the system to direct the hot air toward the outdoor unit to melt any accumulated ice that would damage the system if manually removed. Since the defrost mode works like the cooling mode, the system will likely blow cold air inside your home. Once all the ice on the outdoor unit melts, your heat pump should return to normal warming mode.

Wrong Thermostat Settings

The thermostat settings should be among the first things to check when your heat pump blows cold air. It is crucial to ensure the thermostat is set to “heat” and the fan setting is set to “auto.” If you set the fan to “on” mode, the pump will blow air regardless of whether it is hot or cold. Setting the fan to “auto” will make it blow only heated air.

Dirty Air Filters

The air filters are one of the most essential components of your heat pump. A dirty filter reduces the quality of air circulating inside your home. As the air passes through the filters, dirt and debris should get removed, giving your home purified air. However, dirt and debris may accumulate in the filters over time if the filters aren’t cleaned or swapped out regularly. With a clogged filter, air struggles to get through, reducing airflow. When reduced air flows in the heat pump, it struggles to maintain an ideal home temperature.

Dirty air filters can negatively impact the heat pump’s efficiency and increase your electricity bills. Consider contacting a professional HVAC technician who regularly cleans or replaces AC filters. If you have pets, consult with the technician so you know how long the filters should be used before being replaced or cleaned.

The Refrigerant Is Leaking

During winter, the heat pump uses coolant to extract warmth from outdoor air using the outdoor unit and bring it inside your home. Conversely, in summer, the mechanism is reversed; the coolant absorbs the heat from the indoor air and releases it to the environment through the outdoor unit; this mechanism removes excess heat from your home.

The coolant flows within a sealed circuit and should not deplete over time. Nevertheless, a minor puncture, natural wear and tear, or damage to the unit can lead to leakage. This leakage may cause reduced levels of refrigerant in your heat pump, which could compromise its effectiveness, resulting in an inability to produce warm air at normal rates. It’s advisable to contact a company such as Scott-Lee Heating Company that will address things like refrigerant leaks. Only professional technicians should handle issues related to refrigerant.

Blocked or Dirty Outdoor Unit

A heat pump absorbs heat from the outdoor unit and then circulates it indoors. If the outdoor unit is clogged with debris, it will struggle to absorb heat. If the unit looks dirty or there are leaves and shrubs surrounding it, chances are high that there may be some stuck in the unit, and it may be time to clean it. Hire a technician who will clean off the dirt from the outside unit. You can also help here by trimming any vegetation surrounding the outdoor unit.

The professional will also clean the coils to ensure the heat pump functions properly by blowing warm air when needed. It is also essential for you to schedule regular maintenance of the outdoor unit for it to run efficiently and avoid costly future repairs that result due to things like dirt accumulating in the unit.

Lack of Regular HVAC Maintenance

Long periods without proper heat pump maintenance can be why your heat pump blows cold air while in heat mode. The unit accumulates dirt and debris as time passes, impacting the heat transfer process and reducing the pump’s efficiency.

To increase heat pump efficiency, have an HVAC technician regularly maintain it. A tune-up can involve cleaning the outdoor unit and scheduling an annual inspection. In addition to improved performance, a well-maintained heat pump could lead to cost savings through a reduction in energy consumption.

The Reverse Valve Is Defective

The reversing valve’s primary role is to alter the direction of the refrigerant’s flow to switch between heating and cooling modes. This component is essential to the unit as any malfunction or damage can impede proper mode-switching capabilities. When a reverse valve fails, it may cause issues such as cold air blowing from a heat pump set on heating mode.

The issue can be addressed by bringing in an experienced HVAC specialist to troubleshoot the reversing valve and perform essential repairs or replacements on any damaged parts. Ultimately, a functioning reversing valve helps ensure optimal heat pump performance during both cold and warm seasons, creating consistently comfortable living conditions in your home.

The Heating System Has Run Its Course

With time, your heat pump may experience frequent breakdowns or require recurring repairs. Typically, a pump lasts 10-15 years; an aging unit can struggle to sustain a desired temperature and consume more power than usual while experiencing regular malfunctions. This reduced efficiency is due to natural wear and tear on specific components within the system. Blowing cold air in heating mode could indicate that parts have begun breaking down.

Hire an HVAC expert to assess whether repairing your existing system or getting a replacement would be more cost-effective. If repairing a unit that has reached its end of life exceeds 50% of the initial purchase price, replacing it altogether may be wiser. Look for more modern, contemporary models with higher efficiency ratings as they can generate considerable electricity savings.

There’s no need to live in an uncomfortable home with a failing heat pump. At Scott-Lee Heating Company, we can help you resolve the underlying issue in your heat pump. If you are in St. Louis or a surrounding area, our licensed HVAC technicians can also assist with all your cooling and heating needs, such as AC maintenance, furnace repairs, and geothermal heating and cooling. We serve both commercial and residential properties. If you are ready to take the next step toward solving your home’s HVAC problems, contact us today to set up an appointment.