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Douglas Cooling & Heating Blog

Heat Pump Ice, and the Problems It Creates

If you notice ice forming on your heat pump coil, you have a problem. Though ice may seem like an indication that the system is working as intended, it’s actually an indication of a serious issue that could cause a full breakdown. Let’s take a look at what causes a heat pump to ice over, and why it’s such a threat.

Coils and Airflow

The indoor coil of the heat pump evaporates refrigerant to absorb heat from the air while the system is in cooling mode. This causes the temperature of the air around the coil to drop. Condensation forms on the coil as the air is cooled past the dew point. Normally, the flow of warm air from the ducts keeps the temperature of the air around the coil above freezing. If the flow of air is interrupted, however, the condensate will freeze and form ice.

The Problems that Ice Causes

While the evaporator coil is frozen over, the system will not be able to siphon thermal energy from the air. This will cause the output of the system to drop dramatically. If the ice is not cleaned off quickly enough, the weight of it will cause the coil to warp, requiring that it be replaced. The ice can also spread down the refrigerant line to other parts of the heat pump, causing them to malfunction and eventually leading to a full system breakdown. This is why you need to call for repairs as soon as you notice ice forming on your heat pump. If not, you could end up paying quite a bit more in repair costs down the road.

Douglas Cooling & Heating offers a full range of heat pump repair services throughout Mountain Brook, AL. Call today to schedule an appointment with one of our heat pump technicians.

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