Durham Chapel Hill Hillsborough Snow Ice Heat Pump

How to Protect your HVAC Heat Pump system from Snow & Ice

Winter is finally here. For that, North Carolina becomes a big player when it comes to winter weather with snow, sleet, and freezing rain all occurring; therefore, it’s important for you to know how to deal with these types of weather when it comes to your heating HVAC system.

Throughout the years, we have experience and answered many questions in regards to the frost and heat pumps prior to the winter season or a winter storm.  Here are some of the common questions when it comes to winter weather and your heating system:

Is it normal for ice to be on a heat pump?

During the winter months, it is important to know that it is normal for heat pumps to ice up, especially on extremely cold days.  It is normal for the coil of the heat pump to be covered in a white frost or some light ice on the unit.

However, after a severe winter storm, excessive ice and snow can accumulate around the unit.  Therefore, it is important to remove the snow or ice to ensure proper airflow to ensure the unit works properly.  To do this, turn the thermostat to emergency heat or off and completely remove the snow and ice from the unit.  Additionally, you can also pour warm or hot water over the unit to melt the ice or snow.

What is a defrost cycle?

Now that the winter months are here, it is important to ensure your heat pump is working properly.  Therefore, it is important to periodically check if there a buildup of frost around your outside unit.  If so, there is a setting on your thermostat that can help kick-start unit to work more efficiently.

The defrost cycle is a sequence that occurs when frost conditions occur.  The defrost cycle should be used for long enough to melt the ice outside on the unit. In a defrost cycle, the heat pump is automatically started in reverse in the cooling cycle.  By doing so, this temporarily warms up the outdoor coil and melts the white frost on the coils.  The heat pump will continue to operate in the defrost cycle until the outdoor coil temperature reaches around 57° Fahrenheit.

Can snow or ice buildup affect my Heating system?

North Carolina is notorious for sleet, freezing rain, and ice storms, so it is important to know they can affect your system from working properly.  When it comes to an accumulation of snow or ice, the main issue that can occur is when the snow or ice encases the unit is that it can trigger an emergency shut off; cutting off heat to the home, which can cause the pipes to burst.

Another instance is the snow and ice can build around the unit, which will cause the unit to overwork through excessive cycling of the system, thus driving up your utility bill and increasing the need for air filters to be changed more regularly and causing the inside elements to wear quicker.

Whatever the need this winter, All Weather Heating and Cooling is here to help.  We offer different services and repairs that will help your family stay out of the cold.  We even offer emergency service to get you back to working order faster.

All Weather Heating & Cooling is a Durham, Chapel Hill, and Hillsborough area HVAC repair Here at All Weather Heating and Cooling Inc., we are proud to be a local HVAC repair company that services in Durham, Chapel Hill, and Hillsborough communities.  We understand the importance of heating and cooling services for your residential or commercial needs; you can trust All Weather Heating & Cooling will get the job done. Call us at 919-967-9775 or fill out a contact form for HVAC questions or to receive a service quote.