If you notice ice forming on the outside part of your heat pump this winter, don’t ignore it. Heat pump ice could be a sign of a serious problem with your system. If you’re not careful, it could cause widespread issues up to and including full-system breakdowns. Let’s take a look at what causes heat pump ice, and when it can be a threat to your system.
Why It Happens
Heat pump ice is caused by the normal heating operation of the system. In heating mode, the outside portion of the heat pump evaporates refrigerant to draw thermal energy from the air around it. This causes the temperature to drop, and condensation forms on the coil. If the temperature drops low enough, it will freeze the condensation and form ice. Normally, the system has a defrost cycle to melt any ice off the coil. If the defrost cycle malfunctions, however, it can cause problems for the system.
Problems with Heat Pump Ice
If the ice is allowed to build up on the heat pump coil unchecked, it can cause widespread issues for the system. The ice buildup will cut off the access of the heat pump to the air around it, causing the output of the system to drop significantly. The ice can eventually become heavy enough to warp the coil, requiring that it be replaced. Finally, ice can spread to other parts of the heat pump system, causing them to break down. If you happen to notice that your heat pump is more than half-covered in ice, have a professional examine your system to make sure that it’s operating properly.
Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling offers heat pump repair services throughout New Hope, PA. If you need heat pump repair services of any kind, call today for an appointment.