Doing Your Part to Keep Your HVAC System Running

A few months ago, my air conditioner completely died. I woke up in the middle of the night covered in sweat, and I didn't know what to do. The next day, I called an HVAC expert, and they came out to inspect my system. It turned out that it had failed because of filthy filters and a clogged return duct, which made me sick to my stomach. I had caused the problem, and I needed to learn how to fix things. My HVAC professional taught me a few easy maintenance techniques that I didn't know before, so that I could maintain my new system. Check out this blog to learn more about HVAC yourself.

Proactive Steps You Should Take To Prevent Winter Heat Pump Freeze-Ups


If your home's heat pump has a habit of freezing up during extremely cold winter storms, then you will be pleased to discover that you can take many proactive steps to prevent it from happening again this winter, including the following:

Proactive Step: Build Weather Protection and Proper Drainage Channels Around the Exterior Heat Pump Unit

While your heat pump unit must be installed outdoors and in an area with ample ventilation, it really does need to be protected from wind and moisture to work at its peak. You can protect the unit with a small wooden fence or a chainlink fence panels joined together to form a box shape.

The area around the base of the heat pump must be free of weeds and provide plenty of drainage during winter storms.

Additionally, it is vital that you install an awning over the top of your heat pump's exterior unit. If the rain or drainage water from the roof drip on, or near, the unit, then this will lead to excessive ice buildup around it when the temperatures dip below freezing. 

Proactive Step: Install a Solar-Powered Heat Tape on the Unit's Drain Line

As your heat pump exchanges the cold outdoor air with the hot air used to heat your home, it continually drips water out of its drain line. During cold weather when you are running the heat pump a lot, it will produce a higher volume of draining water that has the potential to freeze. You can prevent this by installing a heat tape on the drain line. If there is no electrical connection nearby the unit, you can purchase a solar-powered heat tape. The heat tape will keep the line just above freezing and prevent line-clogging ice dams from forming.

Proactive Step: Watch for an Excessive Frequency of Defrost Cycles

Finally, as the heat pump heats up your house, it regularly changes modes from heat to defrost. The defrost mode is necessary to melt off any ice or snow in the heat pump's immediate area. When the system is running in defrost mode, the air will not be hot when it comes out of your interior vents. If you notice this happening more and more frequently when it is cold outside, then the system should be inspected by a professional HVAC contractor. The technician can determine the problem with the defrost cycle and repair it for you.


1 October 2017