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Professional Heating & Air Blog

Why Is There Ice on My Heat Pump?

Heat pumps are common means of keeping out mild winters at bay here in Hammond, LA. They use the same basic design as a central air conditioner, but with a twist: the cycle can be “reversed” to heat your home in the winter as well as cooling it in the summer. Heat pumps work extremely well in towns that don’t experience a lot of freezing in the winter, and can save you a great deal on monthly bills. But like any other system trouble can crop up from time to time. Take ice, for example. You may notice that ice forms on the coils of your system, which might not seem like a big deal since it involves cooling. In truth, however, ice one your system is a big problem, and unless you deal with it swiftly, it can lead to lasting damage to your pump. Understanding why there’s ice on your heat pump can help explain why it’s a problem.

The Cycle

Regardless of whether you’re heating or cooling your home, the heat pump uses its evaporator coils to facilitate the process. Liquid refrigerant enters the coils under high pressure, reverting to gaseous form as it evaporates and cooling the surrounding air in the process. (During the winter, this takes place outside your home, in order to facilitate heating inside the home.) It requires a set amount of refrigerant, and if the refrigerant is leaking, that could cause ice to form. It might also be a result of a faulty defrosting cycle, which most heat pumps have.

The Problem

Regardless of the causes, the ice forms an insulating barrier between the refrigerant and the air. That forces it to work harder to do the same job, raising monthly bills and increasing the risk of a serious breakdown. Never attempt to scrape the ice off yourself: it could damage the coils and won’t fix the problem.

Call A Professional Heating and Air anytime you spot ice on your heat pump. 

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