What Causes Your Heat Pump to Ice Up?

Heat pumps operate according to the same basic principles that air conditioners do: circulating refrigerant gas through a series of valves and coils to alternately heat and cool the air. The difference with a heat pump is that the process can basically be “reversed,” warming your indoor air in the winter while cooling it in the summer. Heat pump repair in Deer Park – where heat pumps suit the climate and are thus quite popular – is usually handled by the same companies that handle air conditioning repair. Since both types of technology are very similar, the problems they face are similar too. Take, for instance, the evaporator coil’s tendency to ice up. What causes your heat pump to ice up? It usually means a leak in the refrigerant.

Heat pumps and air conditioners both depend on a very specific level of refrigerant, unique to their make and model, in order to work. When that level is unbalanced (say, if a leak develops in the system somewhere), it interferes with the cooling process. Instead of cooling the air around the evaporator coil – which is a normal part of the cooling process – the energy result in ice forming on the outside of the coils. This is a problem not only because it wastes that energy (which should be cooling your home, not frosting up the equipment), but can further interfere with the cooling process. It essentially insulates the gas from the air it’s supposed to cool, further retarding the cooling process and making the issue worse.

Heat pumps feature two sets of coils – one indoor and one outdoor – which each can act as evaporator depending on whether you want to heat or cool the house. In the wintertime, the outside coil acts as the evaporator – releasing cool air into the outside atmosphere instead of into your house. Regardless of the time of year, however, you can’t simply scrape the ice off and solve the problem. Instead, call the professionals at Expert Air. We handle heat pump repair in Deer Park, TX, and can seal the source of the leak before recharging the refrigerant to its prescribed levels. Knowing what causes your heat pump to ice up is half the battle. Give us a call today and let us fix that problem.

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