Even during northern Virginia’s mild winters, a little ice on your heat pump is normal. However, if your heat pump coils freeze completely or the whole unit becomes encased in ice, your system won’t run well and the components will be at risk for damage. Understanding why a heat pump freezes up is the first step toward solving and preventing the problem.

  • Insufficient airflow – The temperature of the heat pump’s refrigerant can fall below freezing. Without sufficient airflow through the unit, moisture in the air can freeze on the evaporator or condenser coil. To prevent this, ensure good airflow by clearing away any leaves, debris or snow drifts that may be blocking the coils. If the coils are dirty, cleaning them may prevent freezing. 
  • Cold water – When freezing rain falls on a heat pump, the rain can cause the top of the unit to freeze and the rest quickly follows. If your heat pump can’t defrost itself after a day or if it defrosts then freezes again, call an HVAC expert for proper ice removal. Water dripping from a leaking gutter is also a common cause of frozen heat pumps. Check your gutters and make any necessary repairs.
  • Settling – Most heat pumps stand on a concrete slab. Over time, this slab can settle into the ground. Even an inch or two of settling can block the drainage path for ice melt and impede airflow, causing ice buildup. If you suspect this is your problem, contact an HVAC technician about having the unit leveled.

Ultimately, lack of maintenance is a big part of why a heat pump freezes up. Prevention is often just a matter of regular upkeep. Annual heat pump maintenance performed by an HVAC professional can take care of the blockages and dirt buildup that are common factors in heat pump freezing. A technician can also check for settling and resolve the issue before it causes problems.

If you need further helping understanding why a heat pump freezes up, or have any other HVAC-related questions, contact the professionals at Griffith Energy Services. We provide reliable HVAC services around Chantilly, McLean, Fairfax and the surrounding area.

Dear Customers,

At this time, when the news is dominated by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) health emergency around the world, we wanted to personally reach out and let you know that we are vigilantly implementing enhanced protocols to ensure your safety and the safety of our team.

We are closely monitoring the guidance of the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control regarding the spread of the virus. This is an evolving situation and we will continue to develop and take necessary measures as needed. Our focus is to ensure that we meet customer needs while doing our part to keep you, our employees, and our communities safe.

Here’s what we’re doing:

  • Everyone on our team has received enhanced training and protocol briefings. We will continue to evolve and adjust these protocols as needed.
  • We are implementing telecommuting options for positions where applicable.
  • Non-essential work travel is currently on hold for all employees.
  • We are conducting enhanced cleaning practices at our locations and are instructing employees to continually sanitize their work stations and vehicles.
  • We are also urging all employees to be vigilant about frequent hand washing.

Information for you:
If you have an existing service appointment, we look forward to seeing you and want to reassure you that we are doing everything we can to promote a safe and secure service experience.

During this challenging time, if you are experiencing symptoms related to the COVID-19 virus or have been exposed to it, in order to protect our team and all the customers we serve, we encourage you to please reschedule your service appointment, by calling us at 888-474-3391.

Your safety is our highest priority and we truly appreciate the trust that you place in our team and our company.

Best regards,
Griffith Energy Services

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