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Why Air Temperature From Your Heat Pump Feels Different


A heat pump blowing mild air – on the cool side in the winter and on the lukewarm side in the summer –  doesn’t always mean something is seriously wrong with your system. Some common causes are quick and easy to resolve. Others require help from an experienced HVAC professional.

Is the Air Truly Cold?

A furnace typically puts out air at around 130 degrees, whereas warm air from a heat pump is only a little over 90 degrees on a moderately cold day. Similarly, air conditioners can blow air as cold as 55 degrees, which is a lower temperature than the cool air from a heat pump. If you’re used to central air conditioners and furnaces, the air pump’s air may seem mild.

Potential Problems

If the air temperature really isn’t sufficient for you needs, there are a few things to check:

  • Thermostat – Make sure the system wasn’t accidentally turned from “heat” to “air conditioning” or vice-verse. Also check that the thermostat temperature wasn’t changed.
  • Outdoor unit – When the unit has to work extra hard in extreme weather, the outdoor unit can ice over. When this happens, you can turn the unit off and carefully de-ice it with cool water from a garden hose. If it happens repeatedly, there’s a problem with your system that needs professional attention.
  • Ducts – A problem with your return air ducts can cause the system to draw cold or hot air from the basement or attic. As a result, the cooled or heated air produced won’t become sufficiently cold/warm. Take a look at your accessible ducts and make sure none have become disconnected or developed leaks.

When to Call a Professional

If none of these issues are the reason for your heat pump not keeping you comfortable, there may be a problem that requires a technician’s help, such as:

  • Low refrigerant or restricted refrigerant flow
  • Dirt or debris blockage somewhere in the system
  • Malfunctioning reversing valve, compressor or defrost components

Whether it’s your system’s air temperature or another problem with your home comfort equipment, at HVAC Unlimited Heating & Air Conditioning. We’ll be happy to help you! We provide reliable services throughout the Fairfax, Alexandria, Arlington, Centreville, Reston and Lorton area.

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  • For emergency service, please call our office at 703-493-1200.


We have staff on call 24/7 to provide assistance to our customers. We provide emergency service up to 8pm for all customers and 24/7 for contract customers. For quick, efficient emergency services, please call (703) 493-1200 immediately.