It’s cold outside, but instead of feeling warm inside, you are sure your heat pump is blowing cold air. The real question is – is it really blowing cold air or is your mind playing tricks on you? There are three things that may be happening:
- It’s blowing cold air because it is in defrost mode.
- Something is wrong and it needs professional attention.
- It’s not really blowing cold air – it just feels like it
Defrost Mode – what it means and what it does…
When your heat pump is in defrost mode it will blow cold air for 1 to 2 minutes before the backup heat turns on. 1 to 2 minutes doesn’t seem like a long time period at all, but when you are already cold it can feel like an eternity. So, why does it do this?
When your heat pump is in heating mode the outdoor coils can frost over when temperatures drop. In order to prevent the coils from completely freezing up, the heat pump switches to defrost mode. In defrost mode your heat pump has switched to cooling which makes the coils heat up and saves them from freezing, but it does blast cold air through your home for a few minutes.
Real Heat Pump Problems …
Heat pumps are subject to breaking down just like any other piece of equipment and if you feel it blowing cold air for more than a few minutes at a time you need to call a professional. A few issues your heat pump may be having are:
Refrigerant Leak – a refrigerant leak is a pretty big deal and is not a DIY job, a professional is always necessary to deal with this issue.
Outdoor unit is frozen – if your outdoor unit is frozen and won’t defrost, even after several defrost modes, there is another issue going on and the unit needs to be checked.
Reversing Valve is Bad – the reversing valve is what switches the heat pump from heating to cooling. If this part goes bad, or is faulty, your heat pump may be stuck in cooling mode.
Losing Efficiency – if your heat pump is not performing like it has in the past and is losing its efficiency it is time for a tune up. You should have your heat pump serviced once a year so if it has been more than a year since it was last looked it, call a professional to evaluate it.
You feel cold, you know the heat pump is on and you know you are not having a mental break so what is the deal? Heat pumps work by taking heat from outside air and blowing it into your home so as the temperature outside drops the warmth of the air coming in drops a little also. It can feel a little cold when temperatures are really dropping (even though it is doing its job) until the backup heat kicks on.
If you are worried about your heat pump or you just know it is time for it to be serviced before you do have to start worrying about it, call Carmine’s today at 203-791-8089.