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How the Reversing Valve Allows a Heat Pump to Heat and Cool

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How the Reversing Valve Allows a Heat Pump to Heat and Cool

One of the biggest benefits of owning a heat pump system is that a heat pump offers both heating and cooling. With a heat pump system, you can streamline your heating and cooling with one system instead of two; for many homeowners, this is very advantageous. The key question we hear frequently is: how does a heat pump do both? The answer is a component called a reversing valve. If you have a heat pump in Wethersfield, you have a reversing valve, and understanding how this component works will help you understand how a heat pump can both heat and cool your home.

The Reversing Valve

The reversing valve has two electrical settings: excited and relaxed. The valve manufacturer sets which state stands for heating and which stands for cooling, so there can be variations between valves, depending on the brand you purchase. However, once a state is set for a specific operation – either heating or cooling – the other state setting is always going to be the other operation. The way the valve physically changes from one state to the other is by a sliding mechanism inside the valve that changes the directional flow of the refrigerant. A small electrical component called a solenoid helps push the slide when cued by your thermostat. As the valve slides, the refrigerant changes direction, and as such, the mode.

Common Problems with Reversing Valve

As a mechanical device, the reversing valve can experience some problems:

  • Bad solenoid – the solenoid has two small wires that can fray or corrode. Should this happen, the solenoid may malfunction and be unable to help slide the valve. Typically when a solenoid fails it is replaced.

  • Refrigerant leak – refrigerant leaks can develop inside the valve, and unfortunately, this can’t be repaired. If there is a refrigerant leak found inside your valve, the valve will need to be replaced.

  • Valve gets “stuck” – sometimes the reversing valve can get stuck in a mode or in between modes. If the solenoid is the cause, it can be replaced, but if the valve is stuck on its own, the valve will need to be replaced.

Heat pumps can be complex, and as such, require experts to conduct repair. If you are having problems with your heat pump, call Dynamic Mechanical Heating & Air Conditioning today to schedule an appointment for our heat pump repair service in Wethersfield.

Tags: Heat Pump Wethersfield

December 03, 2014 | Categories: Heating Service

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