Why is my heat pump covered in frost?

heat pump ice 2It is normal for heat pump to have some frost on the outdoor unit during heating mode. A heat pump pulls the heat from the outdoor air and into your home. During this process, the humidity/moisture clings to the outdoor units and becomes frost.

Heat pumps are equipped with a defrost sensor and defrost board. The defrost board will go through automatic defrost every 30,60, or 90 minutes run time depending on the settings. The defrost sensor works on demand, if it senses a frozen coil it will activate defrost mode as needed. However, if the following occurs you may have a heat pump maintenance issue.

Heat Pump accumulates ice and does not defrost

If your heat pump has been iced over for longer than 30 minutes, it could be an indication that there is a malfunction with the system.

One of our service technicians in the Salisbury, MD and Rehoboth Beach, DE and surroundings area can determine what the issue is.

Heat pump defrosts but frosts up quickly when it’s dry outside

As stated above, it is normal for a heat pump to frost over quickly due to relative humidity, however if the outdoor unit frosts up quickly when relative humidity is low, it could mean the system is low on refrigerant.

A heating and air conditioning contractor can check the charge to determine, locate the leak, repair and recharge the heat pump.

Heat pump defrosts but blows cold air through the vents during defrost cycle

During the heat pump defrost cycle, the outdoor fan shuts down and the auxiliary heat back activates to help keep your house warm.

If you are getting cool air during the defrost cycle, something is wrong with the back-up heat and you will need to schedule a contractor to diagnosis and repair it.

Coastal Comfort Heating and Air Conditioning is full service heating and air conditioning serving Salisbury, MD; Rehoboth Beach, DE; and surrounding areas. For more information about our products or services, call 410-742-1435 or 302-629-4700 or fill out our online contact form.


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