How to Keep Your Heat Pump from Freezing

Heat pumps are often convenient for homeowners since they are both heating systems during the winter and air conditioners during the summer. However, because heat pumps exist as outdoor units, they can freeze during the winter. Not only can this make your heat pump work less efficiently and effectively, it can also cause major damage to the unit itself.

Why Does Your Heat Pump Freeze?

When a heat pump produces heat, the refrigerant will be turned into a gas once it reaches the outdoor coil. There, it will condense and release moisture. In extreme temperatures, the moisture, which gathers on the outdoor unit’s coils, will then freeze.

Generally, any frost that develops on the coils will be melted by the defrost component of the heat pump. However, in some cases, the ice may not melt and could accumulate instead. Fortunately, there are ways that you can prevent this from happening.

How to Prevent Your Heat Pump Coils From Freezing

There are a number of issues that can cause a heat pump to freeze. For example, the defrosting component can fail, thereby allowing frost to build up until it begins to affect the heat pump’s performance. The following are a few tips that you should follow in order to prevent your heat pump from freezing:

  • Keep the heat pump’s outdoor unit clear – Unimpeded airflow is necessary for your heat pump to work properly. If airflow is restricted in any way, then the moisture in the air can freeze on the evaporator or condenser coil. This means that you need to keep the area around your outdoor unit clear of any bushes, debris or snow.
  • Watch for leaky gutters near your heat pump – Gutters that are leaking or that aren’t secure can cause water to drip down onto your outdoor unit where it can freeze. Have your gutters checked to make sure that they are properly secured and in good condition.
  • Check to be sure the heat pump’s outdoor unit is level – If the ground that the unit is situated on isn’t level, then it could block the drainage path for melted ice as well as block airflow, thereby causing the buildup of ice.
  • Have your heat pump inspected – A technician from W.F. Smith can make sure all of the heat pump’s components, such as the defrosting component, are working. They will clean dirty components as well to help prevent issues with the airflow.
  • Change your heat pump’s air filter – Changing the filter as needed will help prevent the airflow from being impeded.

Schedule a Heat Pump Inspection Today

To help prevent your heat pump from freezing or to remove any ice that has built up on your heat pump, schedule a professional heat pump inspection. If you’re located in the Philadelphia, PA area, call (215) 624-1313 or get in touch by contacting us online at W.F. Smith today. Our fully licensed and insured technicians have an average of 20 years of experience each and have a reputation for providing high-quality work and exceptional customer service.

W.F. Smith HVAC testimonial

Dave Smith was very informative, explained 3 possible Lennox units and I chose the elite 16 seer with the 2 stage compressor and the variable speed air handler. Great people, professional installation, explained all the features and provided a hands on operation of the digital thermostat. I had 2 previous quotes and was ready to place the order but Dave came anyway, after working hours, and did all the necessary measurements and explained how important the duct system is to unit size. Needless to say I placed the order with Smith Co. They arrived on time, worked very neatly and in a professional manner, cleaned up and they were working and filled out rebate papers for me. Great experience.