What if the Heat Pump Ices up During the Winter?
When a heat pump is working to heat your home, it is normal if you find your heat pump covered in ice. It usually happens when the pump generates the heat, refrigerant turns to gas and condenses when it meets the outdoor coil. In the wintertime, during the low temperatures, it is usual that the condenser will collect a layer of frost or thin ice. The defrost cycle should automatically switch to keep the pump working regularly. If your unit works regularly, there is no need to worry.
When does ice become a problem?
If a defrosting process is not happening regularly, it can damage the unit. If the coils are covered in ice, they will not efficiently pull in cold air from home. It can lead to several issues. Iced-up heat pumps and ice pumps can break the fan blades, lead to the malfunction of the outdoor coils, and cause the other components damage.
How to recognize the problem?
Several signs might help you to determine if it is time to seek professional help:
- The entire heat pump unit is frozen for an extended period
- The inner coil seems to be covered in ice
- Air is not being pulled into the fins of the unit
Other causes of ice buildup
- Refrigerant levels are low
- The air filter needs replacement
- The reverse valve is stuck
- The components inside the heat pump are faulty
If the heat pump is not defrosting enough, ensure that the air filter works well. Be sure to clean the outdoor unit area and inspect the condensing fan. Contact a professional if you suspect that your heat pump is frozen.