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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
5 Rating |

”My hot water heater was leaking and I needed someone here fast. I had heard about arctic air and called them at 8:30AM. By 10:30 AM I had somebody in…”

- Jane Nebb Kearney
5 Rating |

”Dual water heater replacements: Sales staff(Jim)was prompt and patient in fielding all our questions. Appointment was made easily and plumber/technician(Scott) was knowledgeable and efficient. He also proactively took precautions to…”

- Bill Ly
5 Rating |

”I have recommended Artic Air to many people! The people have told me they are very honest and reliable! (That’s very rare in this day and age) Any heating and…”

- Arnie Schwartzman
5 Rating |

”Ive used Artic Air before to install a new hot water heater after I had a flood. They're response time was fast both then and now. Much appreciated.”

- Elaine Celi Bentley
5 Rating |

”I had the emergency and had the furnace checked and was very pleased with the serviceman, Tim. On time, efficient and polite. Good job!”

- Kevin Walsh
5 Rating |

”Excellent in every way”

- Jeff Weisenberg
5 Rating |

”Great info from Jim on getting info on water heater replacement, and outstanding job by Josh on the install. UPDATE: Had such a positive experience with this company w. r.…”

- Gary Feldman
5 Rating |

”Joe was great. Showed up on time diagnosed the problem and went right to work to solve it. Thank you Arctic Air”

- Allan Pollack
5 Rating |

”Outstanding service!! Polite, professional, respectful, friendly, and very very knowledgeable. Always a positive experience and would highly recommend.”

- Andrew Genecki
5 Rating |

”The technicians were very professional. They removed an old boiler and somewhat leaky water heater and replaced them with newer more efficient ones. Great work guys!!!! Will definitely recommend them.”

- J Bravo
5 Rating |

”The technician came on the scheduled time and his name is Dave. An amazing person who explained everything I need to know as new home owner. Thanks a lot Arctic…”

- Abu N
5 Rating |

”Excellent, professional service. Technician arrived on time. We have used Arctic Air for a few projects and have always been pleased. They are an honest Company and I would recommend…”

- Cori Shimkus Kane
5 Rating |

”The workers were respectful. They explained what they were doing and I appreciated the service.”

- Zac Regen
5 Rating |

”Great service and quality. Our technician Mike, was friendly ,& knowledgeable, love Artic Air, just wish they had an in house Electrician as well!”

- Maggie Torres
5 Rating |

”Highly recommended!!”

- Johnny Ng
5 Rating |

”3/5/20 - after getting estimates for a new furnace and humidifier, I was totally impressed by the Company’s pricing on same model, promptness, great workmanship, professionalism, cleaning up. The end…”

- Enza Valenti
5 Rating |

”I had an amazing experience with Artic Air. From the sales team, to the receptionist, to the technicians to you - it has been an absolute first-class experience. Even when…”

- Michael Navara
5 Rating |

”Very good experience.”

- Ravi Santhanam
5 Rating |

”Great experience for first time. Prompt and professional.”

- Mary Maysonett
5 Rating |

”I’ve been using Artic Air for years now, they are a reliable company that does quality work. Today Ed and Sammy visited my home to install a central humidifying system.…”

- A Monticello
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