Heat pumps are commonly found in residential heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) systems.
Many homes in Texas and the surrounding Southern states don’t have a furnace. Instead, they have a heat pump, which may or may not be used in conjunction with an AC system.
You can use a heat pump to cool or warm your home. For it to work, though, a reversing valve is required.
What Is a Reversing Valve?
A reversing valve is a small metal component consisting of several interconnected pipes and flow valves.
All valves, of course, are designed to regulate the direction in which liquids or gases travel. Reversing valves are no exception. In heat pumps, they regulate the direction in which coolant travels.
If you have a heat pump, you may notice an indoor unit and an outdoor unit. Both of these units are coils, and they work in a similar way as the coils in an AC system. Coolant will travel from one coil to the other coil, thereby transferring heat.
The reversing valve allows you to change the direction of the coolant at the thermostat.
Why Heat Pumps Need a Reversing Valve
Heat pumps need a reversing valve so that they can alternate between heating and cooling.
Heat pumps are available in different sizes and types. Nonetheless, all of them can provide heating and cooling. The reversing valve is what allows heat pumps to change between these two climate-controlling processes.
If your heat pump doesn’t have a reversing valve, or if it has a damaged reversing valve, you won’t be able to switch it from heating to cooling.
Coolant will only flow in a single direction. Assuming it flows from the indoor unit to the outdoor unit, your heat pump will only act as an AC system. If it flows from the outdoor unit to the indoor unit, it will only act as a heating appliance.
How to Test a Reversing Valve
The easiest way to test a reversing valve is to adjust your thermostat.
Switching your thermostat from “Cool” to “Heat” should result in warm air coming out of the vents. Switching your thermostat back to “Cool,” conversely, should result in cool air coming out of the vents. If you can only run your heat pump in “Cool” or “Heat” mode on the thermostat, it may need a new reversing valve.
Ensuring that your heat pump has a working reversing valve will allow you to use it for both heating and cooling.
If you are experiencing a problem with your air conditioning or heating call us at 512-336-1431 to schedule an appointment. We’ll be glad to come out and take a look at the issue.
1431-183 A/C & Heating proudly serves Round Rock, Georgetown, Cedar Park, Pflugerville, Leander, Liberty Hill, and North Austin.