A heat pump can help you save money and heat your home more efficiently. However, when the temperature gets below freezing, it’s less efficient, and if it gets too low, the system can actually freeze. Fortunately, it’s generally an easy problem to deal with. Here’s what to do about a frozen HVAC.
What Happens When Your HVAC Freezes
A bit of ice on your heat pump isn’t a big deal. In colder weather, you’ll often have a thin ice layer on the outdoor unit’s condenser coil. The system has a built-in defroster which kicks in every hour or so and gets rid of the ice by switching to AC mode and blowing hot air.
However, if the entire unit becomes covered with ice, which won’t go away, then it becomes a problem. The ice restricts airflow through your system, which wastes energy and keeps your frozen HVAC from working properly.
What to Do About Frozen HVAC
There are several things that could cause your heat pump to freeze up. The simplest and most common issue is a clogged air filter. A buildup of contaminants restricts airflow, so there’s not enough hot air to melt the ice. Change the filter regularly to prevent this.
Likewise, the coil could be clogged. Check for dirt and other debris that could be blocking airflow and clear it away. You can clean the coil using a brush and some soapy water. Make sure there’s at least two feet of clearance on all sides of your outdoor unit to ensure proper airflow. In the summer, this means clearing away grass and branches. In the winter, it means keeping the area clear of snow and icicles.
There may also be a problem with the blower motor, which prevents it from blowing air at all. Set your thermostat to “Fan,” and feel if there’s air coming out of the vents. If not, then the motor isn’t running. Call your HVAC technician to help you fix the problem.
For help dealing with your frozen HVAC system, contact us at Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing. We provide quality home-comfort solutions to the Indianapolis area.