How To Remove And Prevent Excessive Ice Formation On Ductless Heat Pump Housings
If you had a new ductless heat pump installed outside your home and are having problems with its housing freezing up during winter storms, then you need to understand how to defrost it. While some periodic ice formation is normal on all heat pumps, there are some things you can do to help prevent future problems with excessive freezing. This will keep your heat pump from switching over into its defrost mode too frequently or failing.
To better understand why your heat pump's housing is freezing and fix this annoying problem, here is more information:
Why Ice Forms on Heat Pump Housings
Ice formation on heat pumps is common because when the system is heating inside of your home, the cold outside air is coming through the back end. During times when the outside humidity is high, it is common for heat pump housings to freeze up with ice. While heat pumps are supposed to defrost themselves by switching to defrost mode and heating up their internal coil, sometimes when this takes place the defrost water doesn't make it away from the housing and forms ice along the bottom of the unit.
The heat pump housing has drain holes along its bottom side that are responsible for draining out the defrost water. When these drain holes become overtaken by ice then the ice will continue to build up into the housing and can cause your heat pump to fail.
Removing Ice from Your Heat Pump's Housing
To protect your heat pump from damage, you need to monitor the ice formation on its housing and remove it if necessary. Don't chip off the ice because it will damage the small fins that are needed for airflow. Instead, you should remove the ice using heat.
There are three different ways you can heat up the housing of your heat pump:
- reverse the heat flow by turning on the air conditioner
- heat the housing with a heat gun
- heat the housing with a hair dryer
The easiest way to remove the ice from your heat pump housing is to reverse the system's air flow by momentarily turning your system on air conditioning mode. This will force the hot air from your home outside through the pump and will defrost the ice. Don't worry, it will only take a couple of minutes to melt away the ice and then you can turn on your heater once again.
You can also remove the ice from your heat pump housing using a heat gun or hair dryer. To melt the ice, simply turn off your heat pump and then aim the hair dryer or heat gun directly at the ice until it has all melted.
Additional Steps to Prevent Future Ice Buildup
You can prevent ice formation on your heat pump by clearing away any brush or weeds that are near the unit that may be restricting its airflow. Make sure there are no overhanging trees that will shade the housing from the sunshine and make the ice problem worse. Finally, you should have an awning installed over your heat pump's housing unit so the snow and rain coming off of your roof won't land on the pump's housing and add to the ice problem.
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