If you’re using a heat pump to keep warm this winter, you will probably notice ice forming on the outside unit at some point. Ice on the outside coil isn’t normally a problem, and is actually quite common. However, you should still keep an eye on it in case it starts to get out of control. Read on to find out more about heat pump ice and the effects it has on the system.
When the heat pump is in heating mode, the outer coil evaporates refrigerant to siphon heat from the air around the unit. This causes the temperature around the heat pump to drop, and condensate to form on the coil. If the temperature drops below freezing as a result of this process, the condensate will freeze. This is how the coil becomes covered in ice.
When Ice Is a Problem
If ice is allowed to build on the coil unchecked, it will cause a number of problems for the system. The ice cuts off the coil’s access to the surrounding air, which means it can’t properly heat the home. Over a long enough period of time, the ice can get heavy enough to warp the coil before spreading to other parts of the system. Eventually, the entire heat pump may break down as a result.
In order to prevent these issues from occurring, heat pumps use defrost cycles to melt the ice off of their coils. Sometimes, however, these defrost cycles can occasionally malfunction and leave the door open to ice-related problems. If your heat pump seems to be slowly becoming covered in ice, you should probably have a professional look at it to make sure that it’s working properly.
If you need heat pump repairs of any kind, call Sound Heating. We offer comprehensive heat pump repair services throughout Olympia, WA.