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Good news!

If your reverse cycle heater is blowing cold air (even when it’s set to ‘heat’ in the middle of winter), fear not; this is a completely normal process, and doesn’t mean your heating is on the fritz!  

(Although you may want to simply adjust the settings so that you don’t feel a cold draft.)

At Chatfield OzCool, you won’t believe how often we come across customers concerned that their heating unit is malfunctioning, but in actuality, the reverse cycle air-conditioner is doing exactly what it was designed to do. 

If you are familiar with the older style ducted gas heaters or electric heating units, the way a reverse cycle system works might seem counterintuitive.  However, reverse cycle air-conditioners are a fabulous display of modern technology that is energy efficient and intelligent.

Let’s break down how a reverse cycle system works:

–       Firstly, the reverse cycle unit measures the inside and outside air temperature. 

–       When the unit is set to ‘heat’, the unit will extract warm air from outdoor ambient air and blow it indoors, this means the air around the outdoor fan unit will get colder. 

–       While this is happening, the inside ducts are blowing warm air that the unit has extracted from outside, as well as warmer air created from the internal heating system.  

–       Put simply: the cold air is being pushed outside, and the warm air is being circulated inside.  

So, why the cold draft inside? 

(Here’s where intelligent technology comes into play.). 

If the air outside is already freezing cold (hello Melbourne winter), and the air around the refrigerant coil is getting colder thanks to any warm air being pushed inside, there is a chance that this coil could freeze up with ice. This is detrimental to the unit as ice blocks the air flow and can lead to major damage to the units. 

So, the clever reverse cycle systems will detect that the temperature of the outdoor coil has dropped to freezing temperature, and the unit will kick into a short (approx. 5 – 10 minutes) de-ice cycle to prevent the unit icing over. 

What is de-ice mode? 

The de-ice cycle is when the heating unit temporarily switches from ‘heating’ to ‘cooling’ (hence the term ‘reverse cycle’).  By switching to cooling, even for just a few minutes, it allows the outdoor coils to defrost, and after a few minutes, the coils will be back to a safe operating temperature, and the heating function will kick back into action. 

So how do you stop the cold air blowing while the unit is running in de-ice mode? 

Usually, cold air coming through the vents is simply due to the internal fan not switching off during the de-ice mode, so some of the cold air accidentally ends up being blown through the ducts.  This is easily fixed by ensuring that your indoor fan setting is set to ‘AUTO’ and not a constant running speed. When in ‘auto’ mode, the unit will know it’s running the de-ice sequence, and will stop the fan so that the cold air doesn’t get blown in through the indoor ducts. 

So, save yourself the call out, and just check the status of your indoor fan setting. 

Of course, if after adjusting this setting you still have cold air blowing through your vents, or the cold air blows for more than 10-15 minutes, then there could be a problem with the indoor coil temperature setting, and you may need a technician to assess the issue, that’s where the team at Chatfield OzCool would be happy to help. 

If you would like to find out more about the team at Chatfield OzCool and the services we offer, please give us a call on 1300 361 186