The sight of your heat pump completely frozen can be unnerving, but it is not necessarily a cause for concern. A frozen unit is not unusual, but it must be addressed to address performance issues that occurred because of it. If your heat pump occasionally ices over, here is what you need to know.
Why Is Your Pump Frozen?
There are several reasons that your heat pump could be freezing. One of the most likely is that the refrigerant levels are low. Low refrigerant is usually a sign that there is a leak in the system.
Another possible cause is the air filter. When the air filter is dirty, cooled air tends to push back into the system and can turn the condensation from the pump into ice. Condensation that normally evaporates ends up freezing and turning your pump into a block of ice.
The heat pump could also freeze because of malfunctioning parts, such as a defective blower motor. The blower motor has to operate at a certain speed. If it is running at a slower pace or stops running, icing can occur.
What Can You Do?
Before calling in the HVAC technician, there are a few troubleshooting steps you can try to stop the icing. One of the most important steps you can take is to turn off the unit and allow it to defrost. Continuing its operations will only cause the problem to worsen. In addition to that, a frozen unit will not properly cool your home anyway and lead to a rise in your energy costs.
Once the unit is thawed, check the filter. If the filter is dirty, replace or clean it. You must use the same size filter or it will be ineffective. You should also check the area around the unit outside for obstructions. If there is something blocking the flow of air to the unit, remove it. The blockage could prevent the evaporation process from occurring.
If you want to speed up the thawing process, you can pour warm water over the coils of the unit. Avoid jabbing at the ice with sharp objects. You could cause damage to the interior components of the heat pump.
Continued problems with the heat pump icing up should be addressed by a HVAC technician like Biggerstaff Plumbing Heating & Air. He or she can diagnose the problem and repair your unit. The technician can also give you advice on how to avoid this situation in the future.