Heat Pump Shooting Cold Air: Temporary Causes

heat pump cold air causes

For those who use heat pumps in their home for winter heating rather than the more traditional furnace, both the benefits and potential issues are relatively unique. One of the more common minor issues a heat pump may experience during the winter is a sensation of blowing cold air rather than the expected warm air – why might this be happening, and what can you do about it?

At Accurate Air, we’re happy to help with a wide variety of heating services, including heat pump installation or repair based on your needs plus a whole host of upkeep and maintenance services for any HVAC area in your home. There are certain situations where a heat pump blowing cold air is a temporary issue that can be easily solved, often by the homeowner themselves – but also others where a significant problem could be taking place that requires the service of our HVAC technicians. This two-part blog will look at both these areas, beginning with temporary issues you might see.

Not Actually Cold Air

First and foremost, we want to cover one situation where the heat pump isn’t actually producing cold air, but it still feels like it is. This can take place when our bodies have been exposed to a very different set of temperatures – for instance, if the outside temperature is very cold, the heat pump might drop slightly as it’s warming up. Your body temperature is in the high 90s, so even air in the 80s from the heat pump might feel “cold” for several minutes.

However, once you give it some more time, the heat pump is actually doing just fine. It may not yet have switched to backup heating, or you might just be adjusting to the temperature. Check your thermostat to ensure the pump is still raising the temperature.

Defrost Mode

In other cases, cold air from the heat pump will be due to the unit operating in defrost mode. This is an HVAC feature that allows certain models to redirect air, preventing the outdoor coils from freezing up when the temperatures drop below zero.

Defrost mode, luckily, is temporary. It will cause the outdoor coils to heat up so they can melt away any ice or frost, but then will switch back to normal heating mode and shoot heat into your home again.

Frozen Pump

If the system is overworked, it may develop ice or frost on the outdoor coils while working normally. And if this becomes significant enough, the component’s ability to use defrost mode to remove these concerns will be compromised. This could be due to low refrigerant levels, problems with controls or sensors, or even issues with a reversing valve or various fan motors. In some of these cases, minor repairs or a replacement of the heat pump might be needed.

For more on the possible causes of cold air coming from your heat pump, or to learn about any of our heating and air services, speak to the staff at Accurate Air today.

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