What’s Going On With Your Heat Pump?

If your heat pump overheats or ices up on a daily basis, schedule a service call with an HVAC contractor soon. Your heat pump can overheat or ice up for a number of reasons, including a dirty condenser coil. If you allow a contractor to examine your heat pump, they may be able to repair it for you. Learn more about your heat pump and how an HVAC contractor can fix it below.

Why Does Your Heat Pump Overheat?

Your heat pump can be very effective in keeping your home warm in the winter. As long as the outdoor temperature doesn't decrease too much, your heat pump should keep your house warm and comfortable most of the cold season. However, heat pumps can be ineffective if too much dirt builds up. Dirt can pack inside your heat pump's condenser coil and clog it. 

The condenser coil sits behind the pump's cage, or metal housing. Small, serrated pieces called fins cover the surface of the coil. The condenser pulls ambient heat from the cold air outside the house and transfers it into your home through your indoor air handler or furnace. If leaves, dirt, bugs, and other debris packs inside the fins, the condenser coil will slowly build up heat.

A clogged condenser coil can build up ice over time. Your heat pump comes equipped with a defrost mechanism that melts ice once it builds up on the coil. However, the defrost mode can fail to switch on or work properly if the coil can't move air through it. The entire coil can become encased in ice. 

Your heat pump can fail completely if you don't repair it soon. You can protect your heat pump by having an HVAC contractor look at it soon. 

How Can a Contractor Fix Your Heat Pump?

An HVAC contractor will need to thaw out your heat pump before they do anything else to the appliance. After a contractor thaws out your heat pump, they'll check the condenser coil for blockages. If the coil is completely clogged with debris, a contractor will clean it.

If cleaning the coil doesn't improve the functions of your heat pump, a contractor will check the refrigerant levels in the device. Heat pumps can freeze up if their refrigerant levels become low. A contractor can recharge the heat pump's refrigerant to help it work more efficiently. 

A contractor may also check the furnace or air handler in your home during the service visit. The furnace or air handler should be able to receive warm air directly from the heat pump. If the device builds up with debris, it can affect the performance of your heat pump as well.

Contact a heating contractor to learn more.