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How Heat Pump Ice can Threaten Your System

If you notice ice starting to build up on the outside part of your heat pump this winter, do not ignore it. Heat pump ice may seem innocuous, but it can actually seriously hinder the operation of the system under the right circumstances. Let’s take a look at what causes heat pump ice in the first place, and when you need to call for repairs.

The Cause

Your heat pump keeps you warm by evaporating refrigerant in a coil located in the outdoor unit. As the system evaporates refrigerant, it siphons thermal energy from the surrounding air. This causes the air temperature to drop, as well as causing condensation to form on the coil. If the temperature drops low enough as a result of this process, the condensate will freeze before it has a chance to drain out of the system.

This is what causes ice to form on the heat pump. Normally, the system has a defrost cycle to melt away any ice that might build up on the coil. If the defrost cycle malfunctions, however, your system might have a problem.

Problems

As the ice spreads across the heat pump coil, the system will be unable to access outdoor air for thermal energy. This will cause the output of the system to drop significantly. If the ice is not cleaned off quickly enough, it can get so heavy that the weight of it will permanently warp the coil. The ice can also spread down the refrigerant line to other parts of the system. If you notice your heat pump slowly being encased in ice, call for repairs right away.

PRK Services, Inc. provides a full range of heat pump repair services throughout Argyle, TX. If your heat pump needs repairs of any kind, call today to schedule an appointment with one of our experts.

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