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Why Is My Heat Pump Icing Up?

Heat pumps are highly efficient heating and cooling machines. Sometimes during the winter, the outdoor condenser collects a layer of ice. Why does this happen? Should you be concerned when your heat pump ices up?

Why Is the Heat Pump Freezing Up & Should I Be Concerned?

Even cold, dry air contains water vapor. When the vapor is exposed to a temperature below dew point, it changes from a vapor into a liquid. When dew point is also below freezing, the liquid water turns to ice. This is the reason dew forms on grass in the summer and frost forms in the winter.

The perfect condition for a heat pump to ice up is when outdoor air is between 20 and 40 degrees and relative humidity approaches 70 percent or higher. These conditions are common during New Jersey winters.

A little bit of frost is completely normal. Most heat pumps today have a sensor to tell it when ice is forming. Before it becomes too thick, the defrost cycle automatically sends heat back through the outdoor coil to thaw the ice.

What to Do

If you check your heat pump and see a thin layer of ice starting to form, check back later to see if it’s still there. As long as the ice doesn’t linger, you have nothing to worry about. However, you should become concerned if the entire unit becomes encased in ice, including the top and inside of the unit. If you see this type of ice buildup happening, call a heating and cooling expert to address the problem quickly because something is probably wrong with the defrost cycle. Running a heat pump with a thick layer of ice can:

 

  • Decrease efficiency
  • Damage the equipment
  • Compromise comfort in your home

Please understand that it’s normal for a heat pump to stop heating your home for two to 10 minutes at a time when the weather is around freezing. This is the defrost cycle in action. If you notice this type of behavior from your heat pump, it’s working just like it should. That said, we do recommend using a backup heat source during the cold months for when temperatures drop into the extremes.

Heat Pump Repair & Replacement in Central NJ

Since 1977, Arctic Air Conditioning has been providing heat pump repair and heat pump replacement in Middletown, Princeton and surrounding areas in central New Jersey. For more help figuring out the reason behind your heat pump icing up, contact us today!

Testimonials
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”We were more than pleased with Anthony Molnar who was our A/C tech. He was courteous, friendly, thorough and professional. We are happy we found Arctic Air through Home Depot.…”

- Carol Zwisler Beckenstein
5 Rating |

”Prompt service educated technician was at my home within an hour of discovering air conditioner wasn’t working.”

- Richard Pellegrino
5 Rating |

”quick response, very professional technician. great price”

- Thomas Lawler
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”Great job. Repair was done quickly and efficiently. I have used Artic Air for over 30 years and have never been disappointed. Their staff is courtious and very helpful.”

- Steve Geier
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”Fred listened, explained and resolved my issue very professionally. I was very satisfied with the service he provided”

- Murray Kasper
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”I liked the service. Never overpriced the work. My husband is HVAC tech and couldn’t figure out and they did quickly.”

- Katia Kiki Rodriguez-Cruz
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”I have never been disappointed with this business. They never try to rip you off. They are very honest and I am thankful for all the work they have done…”

- Barbara Alexander
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”Jesse the technician who responded to our home was great and determined to trouble shoot the problem. He made sure to keep me informed of everything along the way.”

- Generic Customer
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”Have used this company a few times over my 20 year span living in Old Bridge. They have always been punctual, fair priced and honest. A rarity in the HVAC…”

- Rich Viera
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”Great Friendly Staff with Quality Work Service and Skills.”

- John Hollywood
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”Always reliable especially in an emergency situation. Thank you Arctic for your quick response.”

- Lucille Madden
5 Rating |

”Fast response very professional very knowledgeable technician”

- Helen Nicolosi Troutman
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”We have been using Arctic Air for several years, and have never been disappointed; Today's service was no different! Dante was professional, and knew exactly what he was doing, and…”

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”Wish I would had done this sooner! Best thing I have done for my home to make it more enjoyable. The team of guys which were sent were awesome very…”

- Carolyn Dembowski
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”Thank you for providing outstanding service. I have used this company for years and Artic always is very professional and honest. Will always recommend Artic”

- Barbara L.
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”It is very reassuring to know that Artic Air has the best technicians. We have used this company for several years and we always have a good experience with Artic.…”

- Barbara Kelton Lutsky
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”When at first service do not succeed the company stands by its customers and returns until job done right. Managers very supportive of clients and from my experience staff in…”

- Virginia Villafane
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”I got my Lennox heating & AC unit through them 8 years ago & get my system maintenanced twice a year with my contract. Always on time, professional & friendly.…”

- Beronica Sime
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”My air conditioner was not working at all and Artic Air conditioning sent Tony who figured out the problem in no time at all and fixed the problem. I would…”

- Sowmya Ananthan
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”Called Artic Air after another company we contacted didn’t bother to call us back. Our experience with Artic was great from start to finish! Very professional people who answered the…”

- Suzanne Rebecca
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”Called Artic Air after another company we contacted didn’t bother to call us back. Our experience with Artic was great from start to finish! Very professional people who answered the…”

- S Pilo
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