San Francisco winters are mild and rarely extreme, making it one of the many areas where a heat pump is a viable heating and air conditioning option. Unlike other types of HVAC systems, heat pumps don’t “produce” warm or cold air. Instead, they transfer heat from one place to another. This means it can function as either a heater or a cooler, depending on the season.
When in heating mode, however, some homeowners may notice a common problem with heat pumps: they sometimes start blowing cold air. There are a few possibilities as to why this might be happening. Here our heat pump specialists at Schmitt Heating & Air Conditioning explain a few of them.
The Air’s Not Really Cold
If the temperature of the air around you is lower than your own body temperature, the air will feel cold to you, even though it’s blowing at its normal heating temperature. Heat pumps operate differently than conventional air conditioners and furnaces, which is why they don’t necessarily dispense the usual cold or warm air that you’re accustomed to feeling. However, if there are no other signs of a malfunction, it may be that you just need to give it a little more time to reach your preferred comfort level.
The outdoor unit of a heat pump can frost or ice over on particularly cold days. This triggers a “defrost mode” in the unit, which could result in cold air coming from the fans. This allows the heat pump to temporarily transfer all heat to its own condensers to get thaw any frozen areas. Defrost mode can also be activated manually if the need arises.
Heat Pump Problems
Cold air could also be a sign of serious troubles that require professional HVAC services. This includes refrigerant leaks, faulty valves or the lack of regular or seasonal maintenance. If you suspect that the cold air is a product of a bigger problem, contact your local technicians immediately.
Keep your heat pump in good condition all year long with Schmitt, your trusted HVAC company. Give us a call at (415) 689-7849 or fill out our contact form to schedule an inspection today. We serve homeowners in San Francisco, as well as all surrounding areas.