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A-Avis Home Services Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. Blog

Watch for Problems with the Reversing Valve on Your Heat Pump

Riverside, CA benefits from some of the mildest winters in the country, which means that many homes have benefited from a heat pump in place to handle both heating and cooling duties. Heat pumps work in a manner very similar to an air conditioner: circulating refrigerant through a series of valves and coils that first release hot air outside your home, then produce cool air inside your home which can be blown through your ducts with a fan. Heat pumps do the same thing, only with a twist: the flow of refrigerant can be reversed, allowing the heated air to be released in your home and the cool air released outside. Unfortunately, if the reversing valve suffers damage, it can severely interfere with the heat pump’s ability to function, which is why you should always watch for problems with the reversing valve on your heat pump.

Why It Causes Trouble

In simplest terms, the reversing valve allows the system to switch from heating to cooling mode and back again. The refrigerant needs to be able to flow in either direction depending upon the homeowners’ needs, and without the reserving valve, the flow remains stuck in one direction. That’s often a problem around here this time of year. The reversing valve may have broken or suffered a problem months ago, but because our summers are so long and hot, it may have sat for months before you realize the damage.

Fixing It Yourself is Not an Option

Unfortunately, the reversing valve can’t be fixed simply by popping down to the hardware store and ordering a replacement. Refrigerant is dangerous and requires proper licensing to handle, and reversing valves are delicate pieces of equipment that require proper training.

If your heat pump won’t switch to heating mode, call the pros at Avis Plumbing, Heating and Air to make it right!

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