Why is There Ice on My Heat Pump/Air Conditioner?

November 29, 2022


While winters aren’t deathly cold in Dunedin, the temperatures do drop here in the winter months, and when they do, we need to heat our homes. The more efficiently we can do it, the better, especially when it comes to your utility bills. Common problems like ice buildup on your heat pump could be preventing your HVAC system from working most efficiently. This in turn could be causing your bills to increase.

Ice on My Heat Pump? That Doesn’t Make Sense!

Ice and heat don’t seem congruent, but in terms of your HVAC system’s operation, it’s not all that surprising when we find ice buildup on a Tampa heat pump.

Heat pumps work during both heating and cooling seasons. In the summer, the heat pump removes heat out of your house. In the winter when your HVAC is in heating mode, it absorbs heat and moves it into your house.

Finding ice on a heat pump is normal as long as it periodically defrosts during the system’s built-in defrost cycle. Your HVAC unit has temperature sensors that automatically trigger defrost cycles to prevent ice build-up. The defrost function only runs when needed and for as long as needed to save energy.

When your HVAC system is in heating mode, the pump’s outdoor coils are colder than the outdoor air. When warmer air condenses on the cold coils, it can frost over. Continual condensation on the coils can cause frost and ice to accumulate on the heat pump over time.

Why is Ice on My Heat Pump a Problem?                                                    

If too much ice builds up on your heat pump, air cannot effectively pass between the fins, and this can decrease your heating output. Moreover, excessive ice buildup can damage your unit or cause other problems.

There are a few reasons why your heat pump could be icing over. It may be because your system is low on refrigerant, needs a new air filter, or is experiencing other system malfunctions. In any event, it’s a good idea to call a trusted Tampa heating and cooling expert to address the situation before you’re left having to huddle under blankets in January.

Our team at Mario’s Air Conditioning & Heating is standing by to help. Give us a call right away if you notice anything unusual with your home’s HVAC system.

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