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Why Is My Heat Pump Blowing Cold Air During the Winter?

A heat pump that circulates cold air through your home is the last thing you want on a bone-chilling morning. While faulty parts are sometimes to blame, not every repair requires the replacement of critical components. Here are five of the most common reasons that heat pumps can blow cold air during the winter.

Heat Pump Is in Defrost Mode

A heat pump works by capturing heat from the air and moving it elsewhere. In the winter, it condenses outdoor air until it’s warm enough to keep everyone indoors comfortable. If ice forms on the outdoor unit, the heat pump switches to defrost mode. Essentially, this means running the system on cooling mode for a short period. Heat captured from the air in your home is directed to the outdoor unit to melt the ice.

Ice formations are uncommon in our region of Florida, but they can happen if wet leaves or soggy debris clog the outdoor unit. Maintaining at least two to three feet of clearance around the system can help prevent this problem.

Dirty or Clogged Filter

A clogged HVAC filter forces unfiltered incoming air into the heat pump system. Dust, grime and other contaminants can settle on parts, impairing the system. As components that release or absorb heat, evaporator and condenser coils are particularly vulnerable to damage. Replacing the filter whenever it looks dirty will help keep your heat pump operating properly. At Del-Air Heating and Air Conditioning, our filter delivery service makes it easy to do. Order today to receive 10% off on air filters delivered to your home and free shipping for orders of $60 or more.

Thermostat Settings

When cold air blows in from your registers, your first instinct might be to adjust the temperature settings on your thermostat. It’s important to ensure the system is still running on heating mode too. It’s easier than you might think to press the cool button inadvertently while dusting or cleaning. Check the fan setting too. Set it to “auto,” not “on.” Air will blow continually on the “on” setting, whether it’s heated or not.

Refrigerant Leaks

Heat pumps rely on the cycle of refrigeration to heat and cool your home. As the liquid refrigerant evaporates into a gas, it draws in heat from the air. The warmed air is directed outdoors in the summer and indoors during the winter. The heat pump won’t work properly if a leak develops somewhere in the system. The refrigerant level will drop too low to extract enough heat out of the air. This isn’t a DIY fix. Refrigerant leaks release harmful substances into the atmosphere. Only licensed HVAC technicians are authorized to repair leaks and recharge the system.

System Needs Maintenance Services

If your heat pump blows cold air intermittently or if the air warms up after a cold start, a system tune-up is in order. Regular maintenance helps keep HVAC systems working safely and reliably. You’ll save money too. A well-maintained heat pump operates up to 25 percent more efficiently than a neglected system. Your system will also last longer and perform better with routine care from a professional technician.

From quick fixes to major overhauls, Del-Air Heating and Air Conditioning provides the heat pump repair services you need to stay comfortable during the winter. For more information, check out our heat pump services section or contact us today. Since 1983, we’ve been the local HVAC specialists you can trust to deliver quality results.