Why Is My Heat Pump Blowing Cold Air When It’s Turned On?

heat pump blowing cold airIt’s that time of year again: winter. The nights are cold and long, and the daytime often isn’t much better. The primary concern on every home owner’s mind is keeping their family and themselves warm and safe, so it can be very upsetting when you feel your heat pump blowing cold air. When your heater blows cold air, it can be any number of issues—some that you can fix yourself, some that may need professional repair. Before you take any action, it’s important to determine what is causing the problem. Read on for some reasons that your heat pump might be blowing cold air.

Easy Fixes

Sometimes, if you’re lucky, the problem with your heating unit may be as simple as the flick of a switch (namely, the switch on your thermostat). Even if you turn up the temperature on your thermostat, it still may be set on AC instead of heat, which will cause your heat pump to continue blowing cold air. Make sure that your thermostat is set to heat and check to see if the air coming from your vents feels warmer.

Also, keep in mind that the air your heat pump blows is generally going to be much cooler than you may be used to if you have previously lived in homes that use a furnace for heating. Furnaces typically blow air that measures between 120 and 130 degrees, whereas the air a heat pump blows will usually top out at around 85 or 90 degrees—not cold, by any stretch, but cooler than people may think.

Leaks and Blockages

If you’ve checked for the most basic reasons, your heat pump may be blowing cold air, and if the problem still persists, then it is time to consider the more serious issues.

One of the main reasons your heating unit may be blowing only cold air is a refrigerant leak. The mechanism that allows the heat pump to work manages the directing of refrigerant, and if the refrigerant leaks, then the heat pump will not function properly. To determine whether you’re dealing with a refrigerant leak, check your outside heating unit for excess liquid.

Another typical problem that can cause your heat pump to only blow cold air is a blockage in air flow. Heat pumps work by shifting air from inside to outside, and vice versa. If there is a blockage that restricts air flow in your system, the heat pump will not be able to effectively transfer warm air. Check the outside air hose in your heating unit to see if it could be blocked by debris.

You Might Have a Compressor Problem

Reversing the flow of refrigerant is what allows a heat pump to shift air, and the compressor is the part of your heating unit that allows this process to take place. If you’ve ruled out a refrigerant leak and a blockage of air flow, then it is possible that you may have a potential issue with the compressor. Fixing, or replacing, the compressor is a much more in-depth fix than the previous issues and might require professional assistance.

Keep Your Family Comfortable

Having your heat pump blow only cold air in the middle of winter can be a nerve wracking experience. Fortunately, there are some quick fixes to the problem. And if the problem turns out to be something more complicated, contact your local phoenix heating repair company for fast and affordable service so that your family stays warm all winter long.


Is your heat pump blowing in cold air throughout your Arizona home? Call the experts at Hays Cooling Heating & Plumbing to get warm air flowing into your home now. Call (602) 661-9350 today!

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