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Clawson Heating & Air Conditioning Blog

“Help! My Heat Pump Won’t Switch to Cooling Mode”


It’s that time of year again–the time of year when it’s time to turn our attention away from our heating use and begin to use our air conditioners again. If you have a heat pump system, this is a pretty seamless process right? You just switch your thermostat from heating to cooling mode and voilia! Cool air rushing into your home.

Wait, that’s not what happened? Have you discovered that your heat pump won’t switch to cooling mode?

The good news is that there are a number of things that can cause this, and a couple aren’t as serious or detrimental as others. Read on to learn what may be going on, and a couple of ways you can troubleshoot your heat pump before giving our team a call.

What’s Going On With Your Heat Pump?

As we mentioned above, there are a couple of reasons your heat pump might not be switching to cooling mode. But we want you to do a bit of troubleshooting first:

Troubleshooting Tip #1: Check the Thermostat

Bear with us here–sometimes there is a member of a household who has different heating and cooling preferences. Are you sure someone else didn’t switch your thermostat back to heating mode, or change the temperature setting so high that your thermostat isn’t even signaling your heat pump to cycle on?

Check this first. Of course, it could be that the setting is correct, but your thermostat is miscalibrated or malfunctioning. If this is the case, call us!

Troubleshooting Tip #2: Check the Air Filter

The air filter that comes standard with your heat pump system is in place to protect the system from dirt, dust, and other debris that can get inside and harm its sensitive components. When the air filter gets too clogged up, your system is not able to pump as much heat out of your home, and therefore there isn’t enough air to return chilled air into your home.

Depending on the type of filter and the level of particles in your home’s air (dust/pet dander), this air filter should be changed every 1-3 months during periods of heat pump use. Otherwise you will definitely notice efficiency issues, and may mistake this as a heat pump that won’t switch to cooling mode.

When Troubleshooting Doesn’t Work

So let’s say that you checked both the thermostat and the air filter… and discovered that no, the heat pump is truly stuck in heating mode. The most likely culprit of this is a broken or stuck reversing valve.

This is the component that changes the direction of refrigerant flow to actually make the heating and cooling process possible. The reversing valve is the part that actually makes a heat pump a heat pump, and not just a standard air conditioner.

This is not a repair you can make on your own, so the best thing to do if you suspect this is the cause of your heat pump woes is to give our team a call!

For professional air conditioning services and more, contact Clawson Heating & Air Conditioning today! We are “Connecting People to Comfort.”

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