Common Practices When A Heat Pump Ices Up During Winter


In the winter, heat pumps take in energy from outside to provide heat for your home. If used the right way, it can keep your whole home warm while being energy-efficient.

However, heat pumps naturally ice up due to the cold weather. When the coils are covered and blocked by ice, the system won’t efficiently pull in the cool air from your home, thus reducing its heat output capacity.

What should you do in this situation? Check out a few tips from the experts!

Stay Calm to Analyze the Problem

In case you saw your heat pump freezing—don’t panic! It’s a common issue among heat pumps that you don’t have to be worried about. Why? Ice buildup in a heat pump is normal because of its defrost function which should take 10 to 15 minutes depending on the condition. After the defrost cycle, your system should be alright.

With years of experience with heat pumps, we suggest for you to stay calm and analyze the situation, so you won’t miss out on any important details.

Remove Airflow Obstructions

The reason why your heat pump starts freezing is due to insufficient airflow. Debris and blockages around the unit restrict the airflow. If some components of the unit like the coils aren’t working properly, the overall functionality of your heat pump is affected. Proper airflow is important to keep your heat pump at its best performance. Make sure to clear anything that may be blocking your system.

Run the Fan

One thing that you can do to unfreeze your heat pump is simply turn on the fan. By allowing the air to flow, the ice can melt within 60 minutes. But remember, this option is only applicable for heat pumps with a fan. It’s an alternative solution that you may try.

Manually Start Defrost Cycle

Heat pumps should run the defrost cycle on their own. If it did not happen, you may have to do it yourself manually. The defrost cycle works by reversing the valve to air conditioning mode, which switches the outdoor fan off.

As a result, it turns the outdoor evaporator into a condenser. This will warm the high-pressure refrigerant and melt the ice when it circulates through the outdoor coil.  Again, not all systems have a defrost manual option. You will have to do some research on your particular system or confirm with a professional.

Move the Sensor

Usually, most heat pumps are equipped with a defrost sensor that can melt ice as it begins to form. But, it requires a longer period of time to get rid of ice. With this, you may move the thermostat on the outside part of the system to resolve the problem. If you are planning to do this, make sure to mark the original position of the sensor.

If your heat pump ices up and you’re unsuccessful in solving the problem, contact Air Anytime. You can always count on us for expert solutions and reliable recommendations. Call us at 1-855-8 BE-COOL (23-2665).