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What Is a Reversing Valve?

Here in the Pacific Northwest, a lot of homeowners choose to heat and cool their homes with one simple system: the heat pump. Heat pumps are renowned for their incredible energy efficiency when heating a home, and they are also capable of reversing their operation in order to double as effective air conditioners during the cooling season. If you are curious as to how these systems are able to achieve this home comfort wizardry, you need look no further than a component called the reversing valve. If you are thinking about using a heat pump in Everett, WA, be sure that you schedule your heat pump services with trained professionals. You need only call upon G & S Heating Cooling & Electric to do so.

What It Is

The reversing valve is the component that allows the heat pump to serve as both a heating and air conditioning system. The “reversing” refers to the directional flow of the system’s refrigerant. During the summer, the system will function much like a traditional air conditioner. The refrigerant absorbs heat from the air inside, and then moves outdoors, where that heat is vented. By reversing the flow of refrigerant, the valve enables the system to absorb existing heat from the air outside. The refrigerant is then compressed, and its thermal energy is used to heat air for distribution throughout the house.

Potential Reversing Valve Problems

Like any other component in a mechanical system, the reversing valve can run into operational problems of a few types. Firstly, the valve may simply become stuck in place. If you are unable to get your heat pump to switch over to its heating mode or back again, this may be the case. A qualified technician can resolve this problem fairly easily. However, it is also possible for a refrigerant leak to develop within the reversing valve. When this happens, the valve will have to be entirely replaced.

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