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Is Heat Pump Ice a Bad Thing?

As you use your heat pump to keep cool this summer, you may notice ice forming on the inside part of the system. If you see this, do not ignore it. Heat pump ice may seem like an indication that the system is cooling your home properly, but it isn’t. In fact, heat pump ice is an indication that the system is experiencing a serious problem that needs to be corrected. Let’s take a look at why heat pump ice happens, and what it can do to your system.

Causes

Your heat pump cools your home by absorbing thermal energy from the air in your ducts. It does this by evaporating refrigerant in a part called the evaporator coil. As the evaporator coil evaporates refrigerant to absorb thermal energy, the temperature of the air around the part drops. Condensation forms on the coil as the air is cooled past its dew point. The flow of warm air from the ducts during operation prevents the condensate from freezing under normal circumstances. However, if the airflow is interrupted for any reason, the temperature around the coil will drop below freezing and the part will ice over.

Consequences

While the coil is frozen over, it will be unable to properly siphon thermal energy from your home’s air. This will cause the output of the system to drop significantly. The ice can also build up enough that the weight of it will permanently warp the coil, requiring that it be replaced. Finally, the ice can spread down the refrigerant line to other parts of the heat pump, causing them to malfunction and break down. This is why you need to call for repairs as soon as you notice ice on your heat pump.

Touchstone Heating & Air Inc. offers heat pump repair services throughout Starke, FL.

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