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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?
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.
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:
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.
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!
”I called Artic when Air went out and leaking into neighbors below on the 4th. My neighbors had spoken highly of them. Susan responded to me and was able to…”
”This company is beyond top notch! Our AC system died right before this awful heat wave. The dispatcher got Tom to our house within a half hour to guide us…”
”I received the next available appointment and asked to be called if a time slot opened up. I truly was not expecting a call back and I did, changed to…”
”Tony was professional and very informative. He tested the air conditioner and let me know what worked and what was broken and let me watch his testing. Told me what…”
”Had a brand new Lenox unit installed today. Super professional, great workmanship and customer service. A+ thank you all for your services!!”
”Tony was great! He fixed the problem and still made it to our house as was promised even on a Friday evening at 7pm! We really appreciate the fact that…”
”Air conditioning "died" on a 98 degree weekend. Extremly pleased that I was able to get a same day appointment. Christian showed up on time and quickly assessed the problem.…”
”Took a no nonsense approach. Got right to the problem and resolved it very quickly. Fast, courteous and knowledgeable. I would absolutely use this Company and this technician again.”
”I would like to personally thank Arctic Air for making customer service a priority. A special thanks to “John” for reaching out and reinforcing my belief that I chose the…”
”I have been a customer of Arctic Air for 9 years now. They are always prompt, knowledgeable and professional with their service. Today Dan Mawber (one of their service techs)…”
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”This is my third experience with Arctic Air Conditioning and the service has been excellent each time! My call this time was because my air conditioning wasn’t working so it…”
”We arrived home to find the AC was not running, called the service. Rob was here and my AC was up and running by 615pm. No exaggeration! Excellent service! I…”
”My brother needed a new heating & air conditioning system. I had him call Arctic Air. Since my brother needed some help understanding what to ask I was there from…”
”Our old furnace conked out 3 years ago. Got one estimate for a new furnace, which was more than our budget allowed. Arctic's estimate was quite a bit less. They…”
”Kyle was very professional! He was pleasant, knowledgeable, and efficient! I hope I won’t have any problems, but if I do I would request this great young man! Best Regards,…”
”Kyle was awesome. Very polite and professional. Serviced my AC unit in a timely fashion.”
”Great! From the initial call to the tech just leaving. It’s a holiday weekend, they came with no problem, fixed the problem and didn’t charge us an arm and a…”
”Excellent service they always take care of me as a customer and Ithe most polite people around the technician really takes his time and goes over everything and his name…”