The average age of a heat pump is between 10 and 15 years. But if you live in a region where ice and snow are common during the winter months, your heat pump may not make it that long.
That’s because ice can form on your heat pump’s coils, causing damage that can require extensive repairs.
Keep reading to learn what to do when your heat pump freezes up, and what you can do to prevent this from happening.
What to do if Your Heat Pump Freezes Up
Once you realize that your heat pump has frozen up, there are a few things you need to do to help alleviate the problem. Check out the steps you should take the moment that you realize that there’s a problem with your home’s pump.
1. Turn Off Your Heat Pump
Before you can start doing anything else, you need to prevent the problem from getting any worse. If your heat pump continues trying to operate while ice is obstructing its coils, it can cause serious damage to your unit.
To keep this from happening, the very first thing you need to do is turn off your heat pump.
Depending on the model, you may also be able to switch your unit to your backup heating element instead.
2. Remove the Ice
With your heat pump safely turned off, the next step is to deal with the root of the problem. This means removing the ice.
Removing ice from a frozen heat pump is a bit of a tricky process. After all, the coils of your heat pump are delicate. If you damage them, they’ll have to be replaced before they’ll work properly again.
Avoid trying to chip away the ice with a sharp tool. Instead, use a plastic tool or a gentle heat source.
3. Warm the Coils
Once you’ve removed any large or thick pieces of ice, the next step is to remove the thin layer of ice that has likely formed around the coils.
The best way to do this is by pouring warm water over the coils. You don’t need to use boiling water; trying to pour this while standing by your unit could cause you to burn yourself. It may also damage your unit.
Instead, use warm water and pour it very slowly. You may need to repeat this several times to melt all of the ice.
4. Check to See if Your Heat Pump is Restored
With the ice now melted, try turning your heat pump on. If it leaps back into action and works properly, you’ve fixed the problem.
This also means that you caught the freezing before it could cause any damage.
5. Get Professional Help
If your heat pump doesn’t work properly even after you’ve melted the ice, it’s time to call in professional help. This means that there is either a different problem, or the ice caused internal damage to your unit.
Either way, you’ll need someone who knows the ins and outs of a heat pump to solve the problem.
How to Prevent Your Heat Pump Freezing in the Future
If you live in an area that experiences cold winters, it’s likely that your heat pump freezes up often. For this reason, most heat pumps have a defrost mode. This mode lasts between 10 and 15 minutes and is designed to warm your unit and keep ice from forming.
Some units will enter this mode automatically when temps drop, while others have to have it switched on.
Another way to make sure that your heat pump is operating smoothly is to get regular maintenance performed. A professional can help you keep your heat pump running and prevent costly repairs or even replacement from being necessary before you reach that 10 or 15-year mark.
Contact us today to schedule your heat pump maintenance or repair.