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Why Is My Heat Pump Frozen?

Delivering Quality Comfort to the Homes and Businesses of Hartford County and New Haven County


According to the calendar, we really should be looking to warmer temperatures before long. Before long may not seem soon enough after another long, cold winter, though, and the fact is that we live in New England. That means that you can never be too comfortable regarding what the weather should have in store for you. That is also why any problems with your heating system, even this late into the season, are of such serious concern to homeowners.

If you use a heat pump to heat your home, then one issue that you may encounter is an iced up outdoor unit. There is good and bad news as pertains to this situation. The good news is that some icing up of the heat pump's outdoor unit is not only normal, but expected. The bad news? It may not necessarily be indicative of the type of icing that is to be expected. As always,  it is best to schedule prompt heating repairs in West Hartford, CT if you suspect a problem with your system.

When Should I Be Worried?

Not as soon as you notice ice on your heat pump, if that is what you are thinking. Like we said above, some amount of ice on your heat pump is normal and expected. So normal and expected, in fact, that heat pumps have a defrost cycle specifically designed to deal with this issue.

So if you see frost on your outdoor heat pump unit and its coils, or even if you notice a thin layer of ice on the unit, there is not necessarily cause for concern. Let the defrost cycle do its thing, check back later, and let us know if the problem persists.

Remember, a heat pump works by removing heat from the air outside and using that heat to warm up air for distribution throughout your house. Under the right conditions, the coils are going to accumulate some condensation and that condensation can then freeze up. There is a big difference between some light ice and a block of ice resembling an outdoor unit, though.

If you notice that your heat pump's outdoor unit is encased in a very thick layer of ice, and if your system is just not heating your home as effectively as usual, then you should definitely reach out to a member of our team. That level of icing is not normal, and can result in some pretty serious problems.

Why Is Icing an Issue At All, Then?

Because excessive icing makes it hard for the heat pump to absorb heat, which will only exacerbate the problem of icing further. Plus, it will have to work harder than it should in order to transfer heat. That leaves you to pay more to heat your home with weaker results. Eventually, you may even damage your compressor due to added strain.

You can remove ice from the top of the heat pump, and you should try to keep it clear of ice and snow in general. Once the coil really ices over, though, you should get professionals involved. If you try to break it out of the ice yourself, you can damage the coils. Don't wind up with serious bills or replacement needs due to botched DIY service attempts.

Live more comfortably, choose Dynamic Mechanical.

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