Heat Pumps, Reversing Valves, and Defrost Podcast


In this episode of HVAC School, Bryan covers the basics of heat pumps.

Heat pumps are common technologies in Florida. They reverse the sequence of the typical refrigerant circuit: the indoor coil can become the condenser, and the outdoor coil can become the evaporator. Heat pumps can achieve that transition via a reversing valve, which changes the directions of the suction and discharge lines. They also have two metering devices.

Reversing valves contain a solenoid (typically 24v) that rediverts the suction and discharge lines via shifting the slider with a pressure differential. Pilot tubes shift gas from one side of the slider to the other, which shifts it and triggers heat mode or cooling mode. Reversing valves are typically energized in cool mode (except for Ruud/Rheem reversing valves; they energize in heat mode).

Defrosting is rarely necessary for us in Florida, but it can be a scary occurrence when we do need it. The outdoor coil can freeze over entirely when it gets cold enough due to Florida's high humidity. Hot gas goes through the coils during defrosting, and it may make alarming noises. Many Floridian heat pumps also use auxiliary heat strips to provide heat while the system defrosts. Many defrosts rely on set times and sensors to determine when to initiate and terminate defrost. (That is true of heat pumps AND most refrigeration systems.) Thermistors are common sensing technologies used in defrost.

Join Bryan on this informative monologue about:

  • Reversing valves
  • Aux heat
  • W and W2
  • Heat Pumps
  • Defrost
  • Checking refrigerant charge in heat mode
  • Heat mode expansion valves
  • Common heat pump considerations


For a more detailed written explanation of heat pump reversing valves with pictures, check out this article.

As always, if you have an iPhone, subscribe HERE, and if you have an Android phone, subscribe HERE.

One response to “Heat Pumps, Reversing Valves, and Defrost Podcast”

  1. NTC thermistors exhibit increased resistance as it is cooled,,,decreased resistance as it is heated.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


To continue you need to agree to our terms.

The HVAC School site, podcast and daily tech tips
Made possible by Generous support from