December 15, 2021
By Mark Paup

Changing the Heat Pump from Heating to Cooling

Updated January 17, 2024

Now that spring has finally arrived, the outdoor temperature is finally warm enough for Iowa homeowners to need AC.

But what happens when your heat pump doesn’t seem to cool your home? You’ve adjusted the thermostat, hear the heat pump’s fan kick on, and then… nothing but warm or room temperature air flows.

While frustrating, it’s important to know that your heat pump isn’t necessarily broken. Some common and easily fixable situations can be at play.

To help you get the cool air flowing, we’ll discuss some quick tips on how to get your heat pump to change from heating and cooling below:

  • Check for Clogged Air Filters
  • Clean Debris Off the Outdoor Unit
  • Inspect the Circuit Breaker Panel

If these tips don’t work, we’ll also review why you may need to fix them:

  • A broken reversing valves
  • Malfunctioning thermostat

Want a heat pump repair that’s scheduled quickly, priced fairly, and completed successfully?

Call Golden Rule at 515-393-4526 or book directly through our website for a heat pump repair. We provide Iowa homeowners with the Golden Rule treatment they deserve. Just check out our hundreds of 5-star Google reviews.

Check for Clogged Air Filters

First things first— check your air filters. If you haven’t cleaned or changed them in a while, they’re probably caked with a thick layer of dust, dirt, hair, and debris.
While seemingly harmless, clogged air filters can cause major problems. Primarily, a blockage in airflow. Without a balanced intake of air, your heat pump will go into overdrive and then either overheat or shut down.
To allow your heat pump to do its job effectively, clean or swap out your air filters. In many cases, this can easily solve your cooling problem.

Clean Debris Off the Outdoor Unit

Your heat pump will carry warm air from inside your home in cooling mode, then dump it outside through your outdoor unit. But if there is yard debris from overgrown bushes or plants blocking it, the warm air has nowhere to escape, and you’re left with the same airflow problem caused by a clogged air filter.

Again, your heat pump relies on a healthy intake and exhaustion of airflow, so if anything gets in the way, it won’t be able to cool your home properly.

To ensure nothing is obstructing the outdoor unit, clean away shrubs, tall grass, dried leaves, twigs, rocks, bird’s nests, and other common yard debris. With proper airflow restored, your heat pump should transition into cooling mode.

Inspect the Circuit Breaker Panel

If you’ve set the thermostat to “ON,” but you don’t hear the fan start running, you could have a power issue. Head to your home’s electrical panel and see if the circuit breaker to the heat pump tripped. If it did, flip the switch back.

If the power doesn’t get restored to your heat pump, you may need to call in professionals.

At Golden Rule, we offer the fastest response times in the Des Moines Metro and can repair most heat pumps in a single visit. Give us a call at 515-393-4526 to schedule your heat pump repair or book directly through our website.

A Broken Reversing Valve

A broken reversing valve is one of the most common reasons why a heat pump won’t change from heating to cooling. So if the above tips don’t work, the valve may need repairs.

The reversing valve is responsible for changing the direction in that your heat pump’s refrigerant moves. In heating mode, the refrigerant carries warmth into your home, and in cooling mode, it does the opposite. If the valve becomes stuck, breaks, or doesn’t respond to your thermostat, then the heat pump will remain in heating mode.

The good news is that it’s a relatively quick fix. Just give your local HVAC contractor a call, and they should be able to diagnose, repair, or replace the valve.

At Golden Rule, we come prepared with fully stocked service vehicles, so if you need a replacement part such as a reversing valve, rest assured that we’ll have it on hand and can repair your heat pump in no time!

Malfunctioning Thermostat

Lastly, you may have a malfunctioning thermostat.
Whether due to miscalibrated temperature sensors, frayed wiring, or an electrical failure, if your thermostat isn’t working correctly, it won’t be able to send the right signals to your heat pump.

For a complete diagnosis, it’s best to have a licensed HVAC technician perform a full inspection of your thermostat and heat pump system. Once they’ve identified the source of the problem, they can make the appropriate repairs.

At Golden Rule, our highly trained and certified HVAC technicians are experts in troubleshooting heat pump repairs, including common culprits like faulty thermostats. We also provide fair and upfront prices, so you know what your heat pump repair cost will exactly be.

With cool air restored, you can get back to enjoying all the beauty that Iowa spring and summers have to offer!

Get the Golden Rule Treatment on Your Next Heat Pump Repair.

At Golden Rule, we put customers first. That’s why when you contact us for a heat pump repair, rest assured you’ll receive convenient scheduling, upfront, and fair prices, quality, and expert workmanship. We’ll even waive the diagnostic fee if you choose to hire us for the repairs. Call us today at 515-393-4526 or click the button below.

Contact Us Today for Heat Pump Service!

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