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How Your Heat Pump Reversing Valve Works

In recent years, heat pumps have increased in popularity. The reasons for this include their energy efficiency and their ability to both heat and cool homes and buildings. Most homeowners aren’t aware of how a heat pump actually works though.

While it’s not necessary to understand the science behind how your air conditioner works in order to use it, knowing its components and how they function can help you if you need repairs down the road. Below, we’ve explained how exactly a heat pump works and the problems you can run into due to this part.

What a Reversing Valve Does

Your heat pump’s reversing valve is the part that enables the system to act as either a heater or air conditioner. It’s actually a 4-way valve which sits in the refrigerant line of your heat pump system. There is a slide that moves between two positions within the valve thanks to an electromagnet called the solenoid.

Refrigerant will move one way or the other through your system dependent on what position that slide is in. This determines which coil evaporates refrigerant and which coil condenses it, therefore determining whether the heat pump heats or cools a home.

What Happens When a Reversing Valve Malfunctions?

When this happens, the heat pump most likely will get stuck in the heating or cooling mode. This problem has a couple potential causes. It may be that the slide got stuck in the valve due to an obstruction, which then prevents it from moving in order to change the flow of refrigerant.

The other reason this could happen is because the solenoid has lost its charge. When this happens, this component is unable to move the slide. Whichever problem has occurred, if you find that your heat pump is stuck in one mode or the other, you should contact a professional so that they can determine the problem and promptly repair it.

To schedule heat pump repairs in Ft. Walton Beach, FL, contact Kool Breeze of Northwest Florida, Inc.

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