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Professional Heating & Air Blog

Is Your Reversing Valve Not Working?


Heat pumps are equipped with advanced technology that allows them to both cool and heat your home throughout the year. This is especially important now, at the end of spring, when temperatures are starting to get hot and we begin to turn on our air conditioners.

Nothing feels worse than trying to turn on your heat pump for the summer season and getting blasted with hot air. When you try to hit the reversing switch on your system, you get pushback and the panic sets in that your cooling system just doesn’t want to cool. What do you do?

We can talk about the common problems we see when this reversing valve gets stuck, but the most important thing for homeowners is to contact our team for air conditioning repair in Ponchatoula, LA. Only repair services by qualified, experienced technicians can fix the problem entirely and give you back your quality cooling.

How Does the Reversing Valve Work

Contrary to many myths about heat pumps, they’re not both heaters and air conditioners in one system, like a dual fuel system would be. In fact, they use the same technology to both heat and cool your home, just by cycling the refrigerant in reverse to do the job required. That means your reversing valve is responsible for reversing the flow of refrigerant and thus the direction your system is moving heat.

It’s a regulator that changes the direction of your system’s refrigerant—that’s it! Without it, your system is stuck either cooling or heating your home, effectively being reduced to only half of its functionality.

What’s the Problem?

The reversing valve being stuck can be the product of many internal problems, some more common than others. We’d like to remind you that these problems are not things that can be fixed by homeowners and must be addressed by a licensed professional.

  • Physical problem. The reversing valve located on the inside of your heat pump looks kind of like the top of a trumpet, with many different openings and pipelines. It’s what physically changes the direction of refrigerant flow. If there’s an issue with this particular part, it needs to be swapped out for a working one. Luckily, this is one of the more inexpensive issues to fix!
  • Electrical problem. Sometimes, when there’s an electrical problem affecting your heat pump, the reversing valve will get stuck. The system does require electricity to run through the solenoid, a component that energizes the reversing valve. If this is the problem, it will need to be fixed to allow energy to let your system swap processes.
  • Refrigerant problem. This can be one of the more disastrous problems to run into. A heat pump that is leaking refrigerant will not swap from cooling to heating mode properly (or vice versa). Unfortunately, refrigerant leaks can be caused by other issues as well, so you’re better off having a professional take a look to get straight to the bottom of the problem.

We told you it can be complicated! Thankfully, our staff is on hand ready to take a look for you.

Our team is available today for heat pump services. When you need it done right, call Professional Heating & Air.

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