A Guide to HVAC Units for the Amateur

When our family first moved into our home five years ago, the central heating and air unit were brand new. We never considered that there would be a time when it would not be operating as we wanted it to. When the time to buy a new unit came, we found that the available options were more diverse than we thought. It was all too confusing. After researching the different options, I decided to create this blog. My hope is that others who are faced with this decision can find easy-to-understand information that can aid in quickly making an informed decision.

Understanding The Causes Of A Frozen Heat Pump

Construction & Contractors Blog

It isn't uncommon for a heat pump to freeze up during the summer or winter. Many of the factors that could lead to this freeze can generally be diagnosed and repaired by the homeowner. However, more serious and technical repairs will likely need the assistance of a professional HVAC expert. Here are a few problems that the homeowner may be able to diagnose:

Light Frost vs. Thick Build-up of Ice

If you notice a light frost on your heat pump coils, then this is completely normal. However, when that light frost turns into a very thick ice build-up, that's when you have a major problem. This build-up of ice can result in operating issues that will keep your heat pump from efficiently and properly heating and cooling the home. This will eventually lead to the pump freezing up. The heat pump should consist of controls that send automatic signals to the unit to go into defrost mode. The problem may be that these controls are not set up properly. An HVAC expert can check on this for you.

Outside Weather Conditions

Believe it or not, the weather conditions outside can play a huge role in the freezing of your heat pump. It doesn't have to be mechanical for the heat pump to fail. If your gutters are leaking in the area where the outdoor unit is or freezing rain is hitting the unit, it could allow for the accumulation of ice, which may lead to the freezing of your heat pump.

Improper or Lack of Drainage

Your problem may be accumulated water in the condensing component of the outdoor unit. This water needs to be able to drain away from the unit without any problems. Otherwise, this could cause your heat pump to freeze and malfunction entirely. In some cases, the lack of drainage may be due to the concrete slab that the unit is sitting on has shifted or settled.

There are a number of other issues that may cause your heat pump to freeze, including worn-out fans and motors, faulty valve operation, insufficient refrigerant charge or something else entirely. A qualified and experienced HVAC technician like one from Benson's Heating and Air Conditioning will be able to quickly evaluate your system, diagnose the problem and provide any necessary repairs. When you first notice the slightest hint of an issue with your heat pump, call a professional so that your home can stay comfortable in terms of temperature and to prolong the life of your pump.


4 January 2015