Due to receiving several calls last week about their unit being “frozen up” or the fan not turning, we thought it would be beneficial to explain the basic operation of a heat pump.
So how does a heat pump work? Well, a heat pump is a system that uses a small amount of energy to “pump heat” or move heat from one location to the other. Typically, a heat pump’s function is to take heat out of the outside air and move the heat indoors to warm up your home.
Under certain temperatures and humidity, a frost forms on the surface of the outdoor coil. The frost must be removed, or it will interfere with the operation of the heat pump by making the pump work harder and inefficiently. Once frost accumulates, the heat pump initiates a defrost cycle. During the defrost cycle, the outdoor fan is prevented from turning on while the compressor remains running. This action temporarily warms up the outdoor coil and melts the frost from the coil.
During the defrost cycle several things may occur:
- Your unit might become slightly noisier.
- Your unit might look like it is “smoking” (just like when you breathe outside on a cold day).
- You might see puddles of water underneath your heat pump during and after the defrost cycle.
- Your auxiliary heat will energize if the inside desired temperature is not being met.
A heat pump unit will defrost more often during colder, wetter weather. The defrost cycle should be long enough to melt the ice, and short enough to be energy-efficient.
If you have any questions or concerns about your heat pump call Ken’s today at 830-693-5152!