Why Is My Heat Pump Frozen?

Regardless of the temperature, it's entirely possible for your heat pump to develop a thick layer of ice all around the unit. While a little bit of ice buildup on the sides is completely normal — most heat pumps have a defrost mode to remedy this problem — if you see a thick layer of ice on the top of your heat pump or if it's completely encased in ice, then you have a problem. Not only will your unit stop working completely, but it could also be broken beyond repair, leaving you in a tricky spot as the temperatures continue to drop. It's best to contact an HVAC company that offers heat pump repair to get it taken care of as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, the problems that are associated with heat pumps are relatively common and can be fixed by the homeowner with relative ease. Below are some of the most common problems. Work through them in order, and see if you're able to get your heat pump defrosted again. If not, contact an HVAC company today to schedule a heat pump repair service.

Low Refrigerant

Just like with your home's air conditioning system, heat pumps use refrigerant to complete the process of transferring cold air from the outside to warm air inside. Over time, the refrigerant in your condenser coils can decrease significantly, which will need to be refilled by a professional, since handling refrigerant is somewhat dangerous and can even be illegal in certain circumstances. Once your refrigerant is reloaded, your heat pump should become operational again.

Broken Fan

Nearly all central heating and air systems have a fan to blow the air at the desired temperature throughout the home. When that fan is broken, it can cause the motor to stop working and accumulate a thick layer of ice, which can render the heat pump ineffective. Not only will you need to break off the ice, but you will most likely need to replace the motor as well, which can be performed by any contractor that deals with heat pump repairs.

No Defrosting

Under normal circumstances, as mentioned above, your heat pump will most likely have a defrosting mode that will get rid of any layer of ice before it starts to accumulate too rapidly. If this feature is malfunctioning, the ice will continue to build until it shuts down the heat pump completely. It may seem like a minor problem, but if left unattended, it can cause major problems to your furnace.