Why Can’t I Just Scrape the Ice Off of My Heat Pump?

Businesses that handle heat pump repair in Franklin and other Tennessee towns often hear the question, “Why can’t I just scrap the ice off of my heat pump?” Frost build-up is a common problem on many heat pumps, and it seems only natural to just scrape it off. Unfortunately, that won’t solve the problem. In fact, it may actually cause more damage to the unit.

Heat pumps rely on refrigerant to do their job. The refrigerant cycles through a series of valves and coils, which shift it to a liquid state and then back to a gas. As it shifts, the refrigerant either releases heat into the surrounding air, or pulls heat from it to alternately warm or cool the surrounding temperature. (The modified air can then be blown into your household with a fan.)

That process depends on a set amount of refrigerant to work. The exact amount depends on the model of heat pump you have. When a leak develops in the system, the refrigerant levels are lowered and the cooling process is knocked out of whack. As a result, ice and frost form on the evaporator coils, representing lost cooling potential that just sits there on the coils instead of moving into your home like it should. The ice also serves as an insulator between the refrigerant and the air it needs to cool, creating more problems with the system.

So why can’t I just scrape the ice off of my heat pump?” you ask. Because the ice is merely a symptom of the problem, not the cause. You need to hunt down the source of the leak and seal it before recharging the refrigerant levels. Otherwise, more ice will form again and you’ll be right back when you started. Even worse, if you try to scrape it off yourself, you might damage the coils, and turn a minor repair into a major one in the process. Luckily, you have a better option. For heat pump repair in Franklin, call on Mid-State Air Conditioning and Heating to help. Our trained staff can correct the problem quickly and efficiently!

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