When the weather gets colder, you might start to notice that your heat pump is no longer working as efficiently as it should. One common issue is that your heat pump can freeze up. In this article, we will discuss the most common causes of heat pumps freezing up and how to prevent it. Keep reading to find out more.
Clogged filters are the most common cause of heat pumps freezing up. As air passes through the filter, it helps to remove any dirt, dust, and other particles that may be present in the system. When these particles accumulate over time, they can become blocked and stop allowing air to flow freely through them. This buildup can cause an obstruction in the heat pump’s airflow, which leads to a decrease in efficiency as well as an increase in energy consumption for heating or cooling purposes. Additionally, when there is insufficient airflow within your heat pump system due to clogged filters, moisture will begin condensing on its components which can lead to ice forming around them if temperatures drop below freezing.
This situation will eventually cause your heat pump’s compressor to freeze up since it won’t have enough room for expansion during operation leading to a total breakdown of your unit until repairs are made. Therefore it’s essential that you check and clean out all filters regularly so that these issues don’t occur down the line. Clean filters help keep your equipment running smoothly and help improve your indoor air quality.
Insufficient air flow, or inadequate air circulation, can be a major cause of heat pumps freezing up. When the ambient outside temperature is low enough to freeze water, and the amount of airflow entering the outdoor condenser unit is reduced due to an obstruction such as leaves, dirt, or snow buildup on top of the coil or within its fins, it can reduce heat exchange between the refrigerant and environment. This causes a decrease in operating efficiency and increases stress on system components which leads to overheating and overcooling of various parts within the system resulting in icing up.
Insufficient airflow also affects heating performance by not allowing enough warm air into your home while simultaneously cooling down extremely cold outdoor coils that are unable to transfer heat indoors adequately. Regular maintenance, such as cleaning debris and pruning shrubs around your system’s external unit, should help prevent this issue before it starts.
Cold or Frozen Water
When freezing rain falls on a heat pump, it can cause the top of the unit to freeze, and the rest quickly follows. Freezing rain is particularly dangerous for heat pumps because the freezing temperatures can cause the unit to malfunction or even completely shut down. If your heat pump is exposed to freezing rain, it is important to take steps to prevent damage and ensure proper functioning.
First, if your heat pump can’t properly defrost itself after a day or if it defrosts and then freezes again, it is important to call an HVAC expert to remove the ice properly. An HVAC expert can safely and effectively remove the ice and ensure that the heat pump is working properly.
In addition to freezing rain, water dripping from a leaking gutter is also a common cause of frozen heat pumps. It is important to inspect your gutters regularly to ensure that they are in good condition and are not leaking. If your gutters are leaking onto your heat pump, it is important to make any necessary repairs to prevent your heat pump from freezing.
Some of the most common causes of heat pumps freezing up are most often related to a lack of regular maintenance. Without regular maintenance, the system can become clogged with debris or malfunction, leading to a freezing of the components. Taking the time to ensure that your heat pump is regularly serviced and has adequate airflow can help avoid the costly repairs and disruption that a frozen heat pump can cause.