Is Your Heat Pump Covered in Ice?

Before the winter, you did everything you could to make sure that your heat would work just right during the cold months. However, some things may still catch you by surprise, like finding your heat pump covered in ice.

A bit of panic might arise when seeing your heat pump covered in ice, but know why it is in the first place, and that it may not be as big of a problem as you first thought.

You’ve seen dew and frost on your lawn during the early morning, right? When the surface temperature of shrubs and grasses is below the dew point of the surrounding air, or when the surface temperature is below freezing, that’s when you find dew or frost. The same might happen to your heat pump. 

The heat pump contains a refrigerant which can be several degrees colder than the outdoor air, and that temperature can also affect the condenser. When that dips below the dew point and freezing point, you will catch frost on your heat pump. 

That is normal, and there is no cause for panic. The frost will go away on its own when the temperatures rise about the freezing point.

Now what if instead of a thin layer of frost, your heat pump is covered in a thicker layer of ice? Then your cause for concern is justified. There is a problem if there is so much ice that air can’t easily pass through the fins, or if the ice has been on the coil for several hours and has not yet melted.

It is not uncommon for ice to form on your outdoor unit, but you do not want to wait and let it go away on its own. Leaving the ice there will not allow your unit to heat your home properly, which could lead to higher energy bills, or worse, an expensive HVAC repair.

With so much ice on your heat pump, calling a professional technician is your best bet. The ice could mean that your system’s refrigerant charge is off, or the components are broken that control the defrost cycle.

Don’t let your HVAC system come to a freezing stop and call the professionals at Sunrise Heating and Plumbing today at 616-293-9326. At Sunrise Heating and Plumbing, we pride ourselves in providing nothing but exceptional customer service.