Heating and Cooling: Why the Heat Pump May Be Blowing Cold Air

by Greg Leisgang on May 30, 2014

Posted in: Heat Pumps

heat pumpWhen you invest in a new heating and cooling system, you expect year-round comfort in your Cincinnati home. If you find that your heat pump is blowing cold air, consider the possible reasons.

Nothing Is Wrong

The simplest explanation is that your heat pump is actually performing perfectly normal. The problem is you’re used to how a furnace works. It runs for a relatively brief period, expelling 130- to 140-degree air from supply registers.

By contrast, heat pumps run for longer periods and introduce warm, not hot, air into your home. For example, on a 40-degree day without supplemental heat running, the air exiting the registers might be 95 degrees. On a 25-degree day, the output might drop to 88 degrees.

When moving at a high velocity, 90-degree air feels quite cool. However, because it’s warmer than room temperature, the heat pump is still helping to warm your home. It simply takes a little longer, or the backup heat comes on when there’s not enough heat in the outdoor air for the heat pump to extract and pump into your home.

The Problem Is Easy to Fix

The next possibility is that a common, easy-to-fix problem is causing the heating and air issue in your Cincinnati home. These include the following:

  • The outdoor unit has iced up and the defrost cycle is working to thaw it.
  • Snow has drifted against the outdoor unit, restricting airflow.
  • The thermostat is set below 65 degrees.
  • Cold return temperatures, possibly caused by a return trunk becoming disconnected from the air handler, are overworking the heat pump.

The Problem Requires Professional Service

If you eliminate all the above problems as possibilities, you could have something more serious on your hands, such as:

  • The refrigerant charge is low.
  • The equipment needs to be cleaned and serviced.
  • The reversing or compressor valve has gone bad.
  • The compressor isn't running.
  • The unit is running in air conditioning mode.
  • Ice has formed on the outdoor unit due to a malfunction.

For more help deciphering the heating and air problem in your Cincinnati home, please contact JonLe Heating & Cooling.

Image via Shutterstock.com

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