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Why Is My Heat Pump Not Switching Modes?

a temperature gauge showing just the right temperature

Spring is around the corner, but we’re still facing cold temperatures in the coming weeks. At this point, you may be switching between heating and cooling depending on the temperatures each day. And if you have a heat pump, you want it to switch modes effortlessly for the rest of the winter season so you can stay comfortable. But what happens if your heat pump is not switching modes to heat your home? 

It might be time to call for heat pump repair. After all, your heat pump is an all-in-one heating and cooling system, so you rely on it year-round. It’s possible that your heat pump is stuck in either heating or cooling mode, and “stuck” is a problem either way. Keep reading to learn more about two common reasons you may be dealing with a heat pump stuck in one mode.


The problem may not be with your heat pump at all. Sometimes it can seem like your heat pump is stuck, but the problem really lies with your thermostat. Your heat pump relies on your home’s thermostat to communicate when to turn the heat on and off and went to switch modes between heating and cooling. There are a few reasons that your thermostat may not be communicating with your heat pump. 

It’s possible that your thermostat is miscalibrated so it cannot communicate with your heat pump at all. It’s also possible that the batteries are low and just need to be changed. In some cases, you really just need a new thermostat altogether.

Our team can install a replacement and make sure that it is connected correctly to your heat pump for future use. If you don’t already have a smart thermostat, we can install one. A smart thermostat is a great way to save on your monthly energy bills and it can make your heat pump even more efficient.

Broken Reversing Valve

If your thermostat is in great working order, it may just be that the reversing valve on your heat pump is stuck. The reversing valve is a component that allows your system to switch between heating and cooling. When you change the setting on your thermostat from heating to cooling, it signals your heat pump to do the same thing. Sometimes the signal comes through, but the reversing valve doesn’t change.

Since the reversing valve is a mechanical component, it can wear down, get stuck, or break. It’s completely normal for this part to wear down as your heat pump ages. Of course, if you have a newer heat pump, there may be a deeper problem that we need to look at. 

Either way, this is not a problem that you can diagnose or fix on your own. You may be tempted to locate the reversing valve and switch it manually from heating to cooling or vice versa. This is a bad idea, because it doesn’t fix the root problem and may not even work. 

Any work on your heat pump requires an expert technician to find out what’s wrong and fix it. If there is a specific cause that led to a broken reversing valve, we will also address that. In doing so we may be able to prevent the reversing valve from getting stuck again in the future. 

Shavitz Heating and Air Conditioning is your trusted resource for Chicagoland area home services. Contact us today!

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