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Why is My Heat Pump Blowing Cold Air? A Tucson Tech Explains

In the dead of winter, the last thing you want is for your heat pump to be blowing cold air. So if it’s filling your home with cold air instead of warm air, what gives?

There are a few possible reasons your heat pump might be blowing cold air:

  1. It may be blowing relatively cool air compared to your body temperature

  2. It might be in defrost mode

  3. Something could be wrong with it

If you’d like a trusted HVAC professional to take a look at your heat pump, we’re happy to help. We’ve been serving the Tucson area for over three decades and our same-day heat pump repairs are as convenient as they get.

Reason #1: It may be blowing relatively cool air compared to your body temperature

When it’s very cold outside, heat pumps blow air that is around 85 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, which can feel cold compared to your normal body temperature (98°).

If the temperature outside drops below 30°, your heat pump may struggle to heat your home.

Unlike a gas furnace (which produces very hot air from burning fuel) a heat pump works by pulling heat from the outside air and transferring it into your home. When the outside temperature drops below 30°, there isn’t as much heat for your heat pump to pull inside, which usually means your heat pump will blow “colder” air, that is air that is colder than your body temperature.

However, even if it feels like your heat pump is blowing cool air, it may still be working just fine. One way to check is by turning up the heat pump a few degrees and checking the temperature every 30 minutes.

  • If the temperature inside your home meets your desired temperature within an hour, your heat pump is fine.

  • If the temperature does not meet your desired temperature or it drops after an hour, there may be something wrong with your heat pump and you’ll need to call a professional for help.

Reason #2: It might be in defrost mode

If your heat pump is in defrost mode, it will pull heat from inside your home and redirect it to your outside unit.

If the outdoor conditions are right, your heat pump may develop a layer of frost on it, which will interfere with its ability to work properly and efficiently. When this happens, your heat pump will automatically start operating in reverse for a short time to transfer the heat from inside your home to the outside unit. This action warms up the coil in the outdoor unit and melts away the frost.

Once the outdoor coil reaches about 57°, your heat pump will resume pumping warm air into your home and stop operating in defrost mode.

If you only notice that your heat pump is blowing cold air for a few minutes and your outdoor unit is covered in frost, it’s likely operating in defrost mode and should resume heating your home shortly. If it doesn’t, you might be dealing with a different problem.

Reason #3: Something could be wrong with it

If your heat pump is producing air that’s between 85 and 90°and is not in defrost mode, there may be something wrong with it.

Some of the most common causes of a heat pump blowing cold air include:

  • Leaking refrigerant line: Refrigerant is the substance that absorbs heat from the outside air and transfers it into your home via your heat pump. If you have low refrigerant levels due to a leak, your heat pump won’t be able to heat your home efficiently.

  • Faulty reversing valve: The reversing valve is the part of your heat pump that determines whether the system is in heating or cooling mode. If it’s faulty or malfunctioning, your heat pump may get stuck in cooling mode, causing it to blow cold air into your home.

  • Clogged or blocked outdoor unit: If your outdoor unit is very dirty or blocked by debris, the reduced airflow will make it difficult for your heat pump to draw the warm air from outside and transfer it into your home.

  • Old, ineffective heat pump: According to Energy Star, if your heat pump is more than 10 years old and it’s struggling to heat your home, it may not be able to work efficiently anymore. In this case, you may need to replace it.

To resolve these issues, you’ll need an experienced HVAC professional to accurately diagnose the problem and provide viable solutions.

Need a trustworthy professional to diagnose the problem? Call Advantage Air

Advantage Air was founded on the principle of trustworthy service and we’ve continued to serve the Tucson area for more than 30 years since. If your heat pump is blowing cold air, you can bet we’ll provide convenient, speedy service and honest advice on the best solutions. Contact us today to schedule your heat pump repair.