Heat Pump: How to Defrost It During Winter

Overview of Heat Pump Defrosting

Heat pumps are a popular choice for many homeowners due to their efficiency and cost savings. However, like any other hvac system, heat pumps can experience issues with freezing. In this article, we will discuss the causes of freezing in heat pumps, the steps for defrosting a heat pump, and when to call for professional help.

What Causes a Heat Pump to Ice Up?

Heat pumps are designed to transfer heat from one area to another. During the winter months, when temperatures drop outside, the heat pump is responsible for pulling warm air from inside the home into the outdoor unit. When temperatures drop too low or humidity levels increase, frost can form on the outdoor unit. This frost can eventually lead to an ice buildup which can block airflow and cause severe damage to the system if left untreated.

The Defrost Cycle

most modern heat pumps have an automatic defrost cycle that kicks in when it senses an ice buildup on the outdoor unit. During this cycle, the system will reverse its flow of air in order to melt any ice that has formed on the unit. The melted ice then drains away from the unit via a drain line or gutter system.

Other Reasons for Freezing

In addition to cold temperatures and high humidity levels, there are other factors that can cause a heat pump to freeze up such as clogged filters, faulty thermostats or wiring issues. If these underlying problems are not addressed, they could result in further damage down the road.

At Champion Services we understand how important it is to keep your HVAC system running efficiently during all seasons of the year. With our team of experienced technicians and state-of-the-art equipment we are ready to assist you with all your heating and cooling needs!

Overview of Heat Pump Defrosting

Heat pumps are a great way to keep your home comfortable year-round. However, they can sometimes ice up due to a variety of reasons. Understanding the defrost cycle and how it works is key to knowing when and how to defrost your heat pump. Additionally, there are other factors that can cause your heat pump to freeze up, such as improper drainage from gutters and faulty wiring or thermostats. Knowing when and how to address these issues is important for keeping your heat pump running properly.

Steps for Defrosting a Heat Pump

Shutting Down the System

The first step in defrosting your heat pump is to shut down the system entirely. This means turning off both the indoor and outdoor units completely. Once this is done, wait at least 15 minutes before proceeding with any further steps.

Cleaning the Outdoor Unit

Once you have shut down the system, take some time to clean the outdoor unit of your heat pump. Remove any debris or leaves that may have accumulated around it and make sure it is free of obstructions. Additionally, check for any signs of damage or wear on the unit itself. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, call a professional right away as this may be an indication that something more serious is wrong with your system.

Checking the Thermostat and Wiring

Next, inspect both the thermostat and wiring for signs of damage or wear. Make sure all connections are secure and that there are no frayed wires or loose connections that could be causing an issue with your system’s performance. If you notice any problems here, contact a professional right away as this could be an indication of a larger issue with your system’s wiring or thermostat settings.

Ensuring Proper Drainage from Gutters

Another factor that can cause your heat pump to freeze up is improper drainage from gutters near your home’s exterior walls. Make sure all gutters near these walls are free from debris and functioning properly so that water can drain away from them without issue. If you suspect there is an issue here, contact a professional right away as this could be causing significant damage to your home’s exterior walls if left unchecked for too long.

Turning on the System

Once all of these steps have been completed, it’s time to turn on your system again and see if it runs properly without freezing up again. Start by turning on just the indoor unit first before turning on the outdoor unit as well; this will help ensure everything runs smoothly once both units are operational again. Keep an eye on things over the next few days to make sure everything remains running properly without freezing up again in order to avoid needing additional repairs later down the line.

Heat pumps can freeze up due to various causes, and understanding the defrost cycle is important in addressing these issues. Interesting. Shut down system, clean outdoor unit, check thermostat & wiring, ensure proper drainage from gutters, turn on system.

When to Call for Professional Help

At Champion Services, we understand that many homeowners are capable of performing basic maintenance and repairs on their own heat pumps. However, there are times when it is best to call in a professional for help. In these cases, our experienced technicians can provide the necessary troubleshooting and repairs to get your system up and running again.

Troubleshooting Common Problems

When it comes to heat pump defrosting, there are a variety of common problems that can arise. These include issues with the thermostat, wiring, or drainage from gutters. In some cases, the outdoor unit may require cleaning or other maintenance tasks. In any of these scenarios, an experienced technician can quickly identify the source of the problem and provide a solution.

Benefits of Professional Assistance

In addition to diagnosing and repairing common issues with heat pump defrosting, professional technicians can also provide preventative maintenance services that can help keep your system running smoothly for years to come. By having regular inspections and tune-ups performed by a qualified technician, you can ensure that your system is operating at peak efficiency and minimize the risk of needing costly repairs down the line.

At Champion Services, we have been providing quality HVAC services since 1982. Our team of experienced technicians is available 24/7 to assist with all your heating and cooling needs. We take pride in providing top-notch service at a fair and reasonable price point! Contact us today for more information about our services or to schedule an appointment.

Common ProblemsBenefits of Professional Assistance
ThermostatDiagnose and repair common issues
WiringProvide preventative maintenance
Drainage from guttersEnsure system is operating efficiently
Outdoor unit cleaning/maintenance24/7 availability for assistance


Heat pumps are a great way to keep your home comfortable all year round, but they can be prone to freezing up. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to defrost your heat pump and get it working again. First, shut down the system and clean the outdoor unit. Then check the thermostat and wiring, make sure drainage from gutters is proper and turn on the system. If these steps don’t work or you are uncertain about how to proceed with any of them, it’s best to call a professional HVAC technician for assistance. At Champion Services, we have been providing top-notch plumbing and HVAC services in Evanston, WY and Ogden, UT since 1982. Our experienced technicians are available 24/7 to help troubleshoot common problems or provide any other assistance you may need with your heat pump or other systems in your home. Contact us today for more information!

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