frosty heat pumpWhile the temperatures continue their annual decline, one of the most important items to monitor is your home’s heat pump. Although a moderate amount of frost can be expected, an entirely frosted heat pump may be cause for concern.

Why Is Frost Building Up?

Since the refrigerant inside a heat pump is usually between 10 and 20 degrees colder than outdoor air, outside temperatures that are below the dew point of the air and below the freezing level tend to create frost on the heat pump.

How Much Frost Is Okay?

From time to time, you may notice small amounts of frost forming on the heat pump and coil. This type of occasional frost is okay. If the frost lingers for more than a few hours, it’s likely that the heat pump’s defrost cycle will engage, melting the built up frost. If the heat pump is encased in ice however, it’s an indication that the unit is experiencing problems that need to be addressed quickly.

Quick Tips to Prevent a Frosty Heat Pump

Fortunately, there are several things you can do to prevent frost build up on your heat pump.

  • Check the gutters occasionally to ensure that water isn’t dripping on top of the unit.
  • Keep snow, leaves and debris away from the unit as much as possible, and ensure that the outdoor coil isn’t blocked.
  • Make sure the unit stays elevated and isn’t sunk in the ground. This allows the ice to melt and drain away.
  • If the top of the unit is covered with ice, turn off the unit and remove the ice. This should be done quickly, as the buildup can cause the entire unit to freeze over.

For professional help dealing with a frosty heat pump, or for other home heating or cooling system concerns, call us at Wood Air Conditioning, Inc.

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