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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 |

”Very professional. Very responsive. Came out to fix my heat within a couple of hours. Excellent service. A little pricey but I guess you get what you pay for. Very…”

- Ronald Evan
5 Rating |

”Great job!”

- Generic Customer
5 Rating |

”Jesse was friendly & professional. Price was reasonable. Strong recommendation!”

- Seung Shin
5 Rating |

”Thank you to Matthew. professional, curtious, and knowledgeable technician who had my heat back to normal quickly...also appreciated the text with technician picture and info forwarded when en route. 🤗”

- Valerie Martinez
5 Rating |

”Arctic Air is a classy outfit. Besides doing excellent work, Eduardo was very pleasant, professional, and presented a great face for Arctic Air. I am a year round customer and…”

- Sy Wodakow
5 Rating |

”Professional, friendly, and competent service”

- albert dweck
5 Rating |

”Excellent and timely service. Technicians were polite and explained services and thorough.”

- Adam Glinn
5 Rating |

”Excellent service once again! Nick was aces! Performed our annual service on our gas boiler and left the laundry room spotless! Courteous, on time, informative, very neat. 5 star service!”

- Bonnie Curry
5 Rating |

”Furnace was flaky. Tech came out and I think knew what the issue was before he took the cover off. Was pleasant to deal with, even though I was probably…”

- Tony Salerno
5 Rating |

”Highly professional service provided today. I received a very detailed explanation of system functions, needs and suggestions for proper upkeep. I have been completely satisfied with Arctic Air for many…”

- JOHN SAVARESE
5 Rating |

”Great service for a second time. Thanks a lot, David Ianni!”

- Arvind Vasudevan
5 Rating |

”Prompt arrival, fast courteous service.😀”

- Bill Chapello
5 Rating |

”We lost heat on a Sunday night . I called arctic Air that morning they sent a technician that morning. Fred diagnosed the problem in 10 minutes it was our…”

- Joe Azzaretto
5 Rating |

”Wonderful service for my tenants and I felt very comfortable with their work. They came highly recommended from a friend too.”

- Surfnyolly
5 Rating |

”The service provided by Artic Air is exceptional. The tech. Dante Delucia was professional, polite and made sure I understood what and why he performed each check. He is an…”

- Joseph Ansalone
5 Rating |

”Kyle was on-time, courtess identified and fixed the problem with my furnace.”

- Generic Customer
5 Rating |

”Great, service by Anthony M and he checks humidifier to make sure all are working right. Very professional. Pricey but need it done yearly.”

- Vanna Mate
5 Rating |

”Caring and dedicated professional technicians, who provide great service.”

- William Migliore
5 Rating |

”Eric was very friendly. He was very helpful and knew what he was doing. Would recommend Attic Air to others.”

- Mary Mauro
5 Rating |

”They are the best. In time and very professional. I love that they send a text with name and some back ground of the service man that’s coming.”

- Alvin Darling
4 Rating |

”While Arctic Air always provide very good service, when I called originally, I explained that I needed my Air Conditioning serviced. The service was scheduled to occur on 10/14/19, but…”

- Generic Customer
5 Rating |

”Excellent and prompt service. Highly recommend them.”

- Robert Pho
5 Rating |

”Jesse was awesome. He was extremely thorough. He also took the time to show me issues and explained ordinary maintenance to me. Update on Arctic Air: I had an issue…”

- Sabine O'Connor
5 Rating |

”3 words describe Arctic Air..Awesome, Honest, and Professional!!!!!”

- Nicholas F Gambella
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