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Is Your Heat Pump Frozen? Here’s What to Do About It

Posted On: July 19, 2017

frozen heat pump: what to do if your heat pump is frozen

Walking outdoors and finding frost or ice on the outdoor coils of your heat pump can be disconcerting, but don’t worry. Some ice and frost on the outdoor component is a part of normal operation, and doesn’t mean a problem is developing.

If the unit is working properly, it will detect this buildup of ice and shift into cooling mode, which pushes hot refrigerant through the outside coils to defrost the system. However, if you’re noticing ongoing problems with your system freezing, or if your frozen heat pump no longer will turn on, you have a problem that needs to be addressed.

At T.E. Spall & Son, we are ready to help you with all of your heat pump concerns, including a frozen heat pump. Over the years we have seen many different causes for this problem. Here are some of the most common.

Your Heat Pump Is Frozen Because of Low Refrigerant Levels

When refrigerant levels drop, your system won’t be able to defrost as it was designed to do. This can cause a buildup of ice that will stop the system from working. To see if this is the problem, give us a call to test your refrigerant levels. If you have low levels, we can top them off, then check your system for leaks to ensure you don’t continue to struggle with a frozen system.

Your Heat Pump Has a Bad Defrost Thermostat or Sensor

In order for the defrost cycle to kick in, the thermostat or sensor on the heat pump must detect that frost buildup is starting. If this particular piece of your unit isn’t functioning properly, it won’t turn the defrost cycle on. We can inspect the thermostat or sensor to ensure it’s working as it should.

Non-Working Outdoor Fan Motors Are Causing Frost

When the outdoor fan stops working, the defrost cycle won’t work. Again, this is something one of our professional technicians will have to check for you, but we can repair the fan to get your system back to full function again.

Last Major Cause of Frozen Heat Pumps? Lack of Air Flow

A clogged or damaged air filter can cause the system to freeze because it will limit proper air flow. Check the filter, and replace it if needed. Similarly, indoor air vents and registers that are blocked can limit air flow, which can lead to freezing. If the outdoor unit has leaves, grass, or other debris blocking it, then that can also damage air flow. Before calling us, troubleshoot these areas to see if you have an airflow problem.

If your unit is freezing and you’re confident it’s not an airflow problem, give T.E. Spall & Son a call. Our technicians can come to your Scranton or Wilkes-Barre home to provide expert help with your heat pump. With our assistance, you can get your frozen heat pump back up and running again!

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