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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    12

    Question Heat Pump + Snow = ?

    In my first post I showed where my unit has been frosting over.

    I have noticed that my unit is defrosting normally when the temps are between 30 and up, however once it dips into the low 20's it frost over and stays frosted over. This mainly occurs at night when the sun doesn't do its thing and help warm the unit up.

    We are now going through blizzard like conditions and I just walked out and noticed that along with the snow build-up on the unit (grill and top) that my coils are seriously frosted over again. I assume this is due to moisture being present in the air. My question is should I be concerned and is there anything I should be doing to prevent the frost from damaging the unit?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Gold Coast of Connecticut
    Posts
    4,657
    Quote Originally Posted by sae225000 View Post
    In my first post I showed where my unit has been frosting over.

    I have noticed that my unit is defrosting normally when the temps are between 30 and up, however once it dips into the low 20's it frost over and stays frosted over. This mainly occurs at night when the sun doesn't do its thing and help warm the unit up.

    We are now going through blizzard like conditions and I just walked out and noticed that along with the snow build-up on the unit (grill and top) that my coils are seriously frosted over again. I assume this is due to moisture being present in the air. My question is should I be concerned and is there anything I should be doing to prevent the frost from damaging the unit?
    You should call a service comany to fix your unit.
    Aire Serv of SW Connecticut- Gas heat, dual fuel and central a/c systems installed and serviced

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    12
    Quote Originally Posted by Freezeking2000 View Post
    You should call a service comany to fix your unit.
    It's 8:30 on a Saturday night, what should I be doing until I can get someone to look at it?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    12
    Quote Originally Posted by sae225000 View Post
    It's 8:30 on a Saturday night, what should I be doing until I can get someone to look at it?
    If you online right now take a look at what is hitting us to get an idea of the weather . . . I'm an hour northeast of Memphis

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    68,776
    Set your stat to emergency heat.
    Contractor locator map

    How-to-apply-for-Professional

    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    12
    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    Set your stat to emergency heat.
    Please explain what this will do?

    I set it to emergency heat and noticed that I had to set the thermostat to where the bottom bulb's mercury triggered the unit to come on. The top bulb did not activate the unit has it normally does.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Chester County PA
    Posts
    426
    HVAC Pro nailed it in the other thread.

    The uneven frosting pattern looks to be a restriction.

    Run it on Em. Heat until a technician can diagnose the problem.
    If it's providing heat then you only run the risk of damaging the compressor due to the restriction depending on the location.

    ~smoke~
    "That motor's done, he let the factory smoke charge out!"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    12
    Quote Originally Posted by smoke View Post
    HVAC Pro nailed it in the other thread.

    The uneven frosting pattern looks to be a restriction.

    Run it on Em. Heat until a technician can diagnose the problem.
    If it's providing heat then you only run the risk of damaging the compressor due to the restriction depending on the location.

    ~smoke~
    Can you please explain restriction to me?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    68,776
    It will use your strip heaters only for heat.
    This will prevent it from freezing the coil solid, and harming the compressor until a tech can look at it tomorrow or Monday.
    Contractor locator map

    How-to-apply-for-Professional

    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    12
    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    It will use your strip heaters only for heat.
    This will prevent it from freezing the coil solid, and harming the compressor until a tech can look at it tomorrow or Monday.
    Should I have to set the thermostat at a higher temperature before it turns on when in emergency mode?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    68,776
    Yes, on older mechanical stats. And some newer digitals, you have to.
    Contractor locator map

    How-to-apply-for-Professional

    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    34,599
    The stat can be wired properly to bring on electric strips as 1st stage.

    Running any heat pump in a blizzard will result in problems. That's one of the purposes of emergency heat. When the snow stops, make sure the snow is off the blades and grille and go back to regular heat.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    50
    If it's keeping temp setting in the house don't worry about it, it's normal to frost up to near 80-90% of the coil. Not knowing if it's a demand defrost control or not it's hard to say how much frost is normal. You just do not want ice on the coil. Shift it to cool mode until the frost disappears, that's what defrost is. Now it will blow cold air inside due to no heat strip tempering the air in the house but it will defrost the coil. In Florida some times we will spray it with water to defrost the coil with the power off but probably not a good idea if you have a blizzard.

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