Ice-Encased Heat Pump: What Should You Do?

21 January 2020
 Categories: , Blog

If a hard block of ice encases your heat pump, you want to thaw it out fast. Heat pumps extract or absorb warmth from the environment and distribute it into your home. If your heat pump malfunctions, the appliance will freeze up with ice. Here's what you can do about your ice-encased heat pump.

Give Your Heat Pump Time to Thaw

Most heat pumps function well during the winter months. However, a pump can malfunction if it experiences a problem with the condenser or if the defrost mechanism fails to kick on and thaw out the ice. Icing can also occur if the temperature outside is extremely cold. Your heat pump might not have the capacity to overcome the cold air. 

If your heat pump's defrost system fails to kick on, allow the appliance to thaw out manually. Here's what you can do:

Turn off your heat pump or HVAC system, then wait until the block of ice on your heat pump melts.

Inspect the condenser coil found on the surface of your heat pump. The fins covering the coil should be clean, clear, and free of obstructions. If you find obstructions between the fins, gently rinse off the coil with warm water to remove them.

Turn on your heat pump or HVAC system and wait.

If your appliance becomes encased in ice again, contact someone from an HVAC company for further help.

Consider Repairs or a Replacement

Heat pumps can become encased in ice if they no longer have the capability to work properly. In this case, you'll need to have the appliance repaired or replaced soon. An HVAC contractor can remove the casing from the unit and inspect the coil, motor, defrost system, and other parts for damage. A contractor may also check your home's thermostat, air handler, and vents for issues. 

If a contractor can repair any of the unit's parts without any problems, they'll do so. If your heat pump is no longer functional, consider replacing it. A contractor may be able to replace the unit with a traditional air conditioning system, or they may have other heat pumps you can select as your replacement. If you choose to have another heat pump installed in your home, select a model that uses an advanced or updated defrost system.

If your heat pump continues to leave you out in the cold, consult an HVAC contractor for help today.