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Heat Pump Ice

Watch for Heat Pump Ice This Winter

Monday, November 21st, 2016 at 11:00 am

As you start to rely on your heat pump to keep warm this winter, you may notice ice starting to form on the outside portion of the system. This isn't necessarily a problem, but it could quickly become one under the wrong circumstances. If you aren't sure whether or not to call for repairs for heat pump ice, read on to find out.

Causes

As a heat pump evaporates refrigerant to absorb heat from the surrounding air, the temperature of that air begins to drop. As the air temperature passes the dew point, condensation forms on the coil inside the outdoor unit. If the temperature was already pretty low, operating the heat pump can cause it to drop below freezing. This will cause the condensate to freeze into ice.

Problems

As the coil in the heat pump ices over, it will prevent the system from properly siphoning thermal energy from the air around it. This will cause a drop in heat pump efficiency. The ice can also become so heavy that the weight of it can permanently warp the coil, requiring that it be replaced. Finally, the ice can spread down the refrigerant line to other parts of the heat pump, causing further malfunctions and possibly a full-system breakdown.

Now, this is a common problem that has been designed for in many systems. Most heat pumps have defrost cycles, which automatically kick in every once in a while to melt off any ice that has built up on the system. If this defrost cycle malfunctions, though, then you have quite a problem. Call for repairs any time you notice that your heat pump is more than half-covered in ice.

American Heating & Cooling provides heat pump services in Prestonburg, KY. If you need heat pump services of any kind, call today to schedule an appointment with one of our experts.

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