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Have a Frozen Heat Pump? Don’t worry, it’s Normal during winter!

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mechanical unitMany homeowners with newly installed heat pumps might be alarmed when they notice on a cold day that the outdoor part of their heating system appears to have frozen over. Don’t panic, because this is actually completely normal! However, there are some instances in which a frozen heat pump could indicate a problem with your unit. So let’s take a look at why your heat pump freezes over and what you can do to prevent it from happening when it shouldn’t.

Why does a heat pump freeze up during winter?

If you read our blog about how a heat pump works, you’ll know that heat pumps use refrigerant to absorb heat from the air outside – even when it’s cold out. As heat from the air outside is transferred to that refrigerant, some excess moisture from the air builds up on your unit’s coils. On cold days, that moisture can freeze into layers on your heat pump, making it difficult for your unit to perform properly.

How does a heat pump protect itself from freezing?

Luckily, your heat pump is designed to handle the buildup of ice that we described above. You see, your heat pump has a defrost cycle that kicks on when it detects excessive ice buildup. While in the defrost mode, your heat pump essentially operates in the cooling mode and allows heat from the refrigerant to melt the ice away. As this is happening, a backup heating cycle keeps your home warm until the ice has melted away and the heat pump is ready to operate as normal again. It should be noted that if your heat pump is still frozen after 30 minutes in the defrost cycle, you should contact Jerry Kelly.

How can you help protect your heat pump from freezing?

One of the primary reasons why your heat pump might freeze over when it normally shouldn’t is a lack of proper airflow. In order to prevent this from happening, you can:

If you have any questions about a heat pump freezing during winter, or if you’d like an HVAC system serviced or installed in your home, contact Jerry Kelly heating and air conditioning. We service the St. Louis area and surrounding towns like Manchester, St. Paul and Clayton, MO.

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Judy L.
22:38 29 Jun 22
Heath was excellent and friendly. He answered all of our questions to our satisfaction.
Linda S.
20:21 28 Jun 22
Jerry Kelly always has the best customer service. Technicians are professional and polite. I love that they text with a picture of the tech before arrival.
17:07 28 Jun 22
Zach H came out because we had asked for a smart thermostat 2 years ago and we’re not given one. i mentioned to him that upstairs is always EXTREMELY HOT and he went up felt it and went above and beyond and racked his brain to fix it. he found the issue and was on top of it immediately for a problem he wasn’t even sent out for. you don’t find many people who do extra service. very thankful. it already feels 10x better!

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