Modern heat pumps are designed to deal with the ice problem during winter seasons. They do so by automatically kicking the pump into defrost-mode. This process is usually enough to keep an iced-up heat pump working flawlessly in extremely cold conditions.
However, there are times when this process fails. When this happens, the pump usually faces increasing risks of ending up with damaged coils, warped fan blades and refrigerant leaks. This is something that is bound to make the heater inefficient when it comes to regulating the temperature of your home. In some cases, it may even completely damage your heater. The following are simple tips that can help save your heater.
If you have any gutters hanging over your heat pump, check them for any signs of wear and tear. They may be the problem. Why? Because they may be leaking water directly onto the surface of your heater, which then freezes into ice. The endless supply of water may then be overwhelming the defrost mechanism of your heater and may therefore be the cause of your iced-up heater problem. Replacing torn gutters will therefore be enough to keep your heater safe if this is the case.
The presence of grass, leaves, roots and dirt around the external heating unit may be to blame for your problems. This is because the debris may be blocking the outdoor unit's coils. With the coils blocked, there is little that the heater can do when it comes to generating heat. The presence of debris, therefore, decreases the effectiveness of the defrost mechanism, something that eventually causes the system to be overrun by snow and frozen ice.
Clearing any snow, leaves and dirt from the area surrounding your external unit should be enough to keep your heating pump from being totally iced-up.
Creation of drainage pathways
The defrost process only works if there is an outlet for the thawed ice. However, if your heat pump is sunk in the ground, drainage might be a problem. The accumulated water may still find its way back to the pump. In extreme weather conditions, this means that the unfrozen ice will refreeze into ice. And if this continues, the defrost process will no longer be enough to get rid of all the ice.
To solve this problem, you will need to elevate the unit. You can use blocks of stone or wood to do so. You can also use special unit elevation feet that you can buy from your local HVAC shop.
Something to remember
These are easy fixes to the iced-up heat pump problem. However, there are times when this problem occurs as a result of a faulty solenoid coil, problems with the defrost relay system, or a damaged reversing valve. In such cases, calling a HVAC contractor is advisable.
Talk to experts like Economy Air Systems Inc for more information.
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