It is not uncommon for some parts of a heat pump to get covered over with a layer of ice or frost during the winter time. But, if you notice your heat pump is entirely covered by a layer of ice, then this is a sign that there may be a problem. Addressing the problem quickly will help you avoid damage to the equipment and help you save on your energy bills. If left unaddressed, the ice will eventually bend the fan blades, crush the outdoor coils, and completely ruin the compressor, requiring intensive heat pump repair. In this brief guide, Tidewater Heat Pump Repair Wilmington NC explains more about how heat pumps work and what to do if yours gets iced-up.
A Properly-Working Heat Pumps Defrosts Automatically
When a heat pump is operating properly, it will automatically go into a de-frost cycle when the coils need to be de-iced. But, should there be a problem that permits the de-frost cycle from working, or the weather has turned too cold for the de-frost process to work, then the coils can become blocked by ice. When this happens, the required heat transfer between the refrigerant and outside air cannot occur and this causes the ice build-up to increase.
A heat pump’s defrost cycle starts by the system automatically switching over to air conditioning mode. This causes the outdoor fan to shut off and the evaporator is turned into a condenser. This causes the high pressure refrigerant to circulate through the outdoor coils, thus heating them up and melting the ice. After a certain period of time, or when the sensor in the outdoor unit reaches a certain temperature, the de-frost cycle is stopped and the system reverts back to heat mode.
Causes of an Iced-Up Heat Pump
A heat pump can become iced-up for a number of different reasons, some of which the homeowner can handle and others that require the attention of a professional HVAC technician. The causes that can be handled by the homeowner include:
Other potential causes can be more complex, thus requiring a professional technician. These can include:
If you consider yourself a handy homeowner and you want to try and resolve this problem before calling a professional, then just be sure to never pick the ice away from the coils or fins using a sharp or pointed instrument. Doing so can damage these parts.
Heat pumps are complex pieces of equipment and as a result, making the wrong move can result in an expensive repair or replacement. Instead, call Tidewater heat pump repair Wilmington NC at 910-343-1234. Tidewater has been providing homeowners in the Wilmington area with reliable and trusted heat pump installation and repair service for more than 42 years. Our technicians can find out what’s causing the ice to build up on your system and fix it before it has a chance to cause extensive damage.