Due to recent snowfall and more expected, we wanted to pass along a few tips for our customers who own heat pump systems.
Tips for Heat Pumps in Snow and Icy Conditions
1. Heat pumps draw air from the areas surrounding them (all four sides of the outdoor unit). It is important to clear these areas of snow and ice build up in order to allow air to freely reach the heat pump. This will allow the heat pump to operate as efficiently as possible and will alleviate strain on the heat pump.
2. If possible, the space (air gap) between the heat pump and the plastic or concrete pad that the unit itself sits on should be cleared of snow to allow for drainage.
3. Generally speaking, most heat pumps discharge air in an upward direction from the top of the unit. It is important to make sure that this area is clear of snow and ice to allow air to easily discharge (this is the air that is being drawn from the sides of the unit.
4. DO NOT attempt to forcefully remove ice build up from any part of the heat pump. If you cannot remove snow or ice easily with a broom or brush, do not try to pry or chisel ice from the unit. Doing so could cause severe or irreparable damage to the heat pump.
5. If your heat pump is located in an area that is subject to exposure to melting snow and ice (such as underneath an overhang or gutter that may be frozen), check the unit repeatedly to ensure that ice has not built up inside the heat pump.
6. If you cannot clear the heat pump of snow and ice for any reason, switch the system to “Emergency Heat” at the thermostat. This will turn the heat pump off and engage electric resistance heaters that are located inside in order to provide heat for your home. This is a more expensive mode of operation for a heat pump system, so we do not advise continuing in this mode for more than a few days. If at that time, the snow and ice around the heat pump has not melted, feel free to schedule a service call with Hauser Air and a technician from our service team will be happy to assist you.
Stay safe out in the snow! We’ll be here to keep you comfortable when you return inside.