Get to Know Your Heat Pump Defrost Cycle

Get to Know Your Heat Pump Defrost Cycle in Charlotte, NC

If your home uses a heat pump, you may notice it stops working every so often this winter. This is most likely due to the defrost cycle, and it’s a sign that your heat pump is functioning correctly. Here is the Andyman’s guide to understanding the heat pump defrost cycle. 

Heat pump defrost cycle: What is it?

When outside temperatures reach freezing levels, ice begins to form on the heat exchanger of the outdoor unit. When this happens, your heat pump enters defrost mode to thaw the ice. The heat pump will automatically shut down so that the heat exchanger’s temperature can rise and defrost the ice. This keeps the unit operating at maximum efficiency and prevents damage to the equipment. 

How do I know if my heat pump is defrosting?

If outdoor temperatures have been freezing for some time, expect the heat pump defrost cycle to begin. During defrosting, the unit will cease blowing warm air into your home. You may still hear a humming from the outdoor unit as it melts the ice from the heat exchanger. The defrost cycle typically doesn’t last for longer than 10 minutes at a time. In addition, your heat pump shouldn’t defrost more often than every 30 minutes or so.

What if my heat pump won’t stop defrosting?

If your heat pump enters the defrost cycle too frequently, your home will be left without heat during the coldest parts of winter in Charlotte, NC. This may be due to a unit that is undersized for your home. Andy Lewis technicians will inspect your unit to determine whether it is appropriately sized for your home. A struggling heat pump also could be attributed to a clogged air filter. Make sure your air filters are cleaned or changed regularly. Clear all leaves and debris from the heat pump so that the water from the defrosting cycle can properly drain.

For all your heat pump needs in the Charlotte area, call Andy Lewis Heating & Air Conditioning today!