Why is My Heat Pump in Defrost Mode?

Heat Pump in Eureka, CA

Heat pumps have a defrost mode designed to prevent damage and maintain efficiency. When it gets freezing in your area, you may notice your heat pump has stopped delivering warm air to your home even though it’s on. This usually isn’t anything that’s a cause for concern.

What Is Defrost Mode?

When it gets below 32 degrees outdoors, frost can build up on the coils in your heat pump’s outdoor unit. This can cause damage, so the heat pump will switch to defrost mode. This mode will warm the coils and melt the frost. Defrost mode can come on several times to prevent frost from building up.

How Do I Know My Heat Pump is in Defrost Mode?

When defrost mode is on, your heat pump won’t heat your home. The outdoor fan turns off, so cool air isn’t delivered into your home. Some heat pump models have a light that indicates defrost mode is on.

how Long Does Defrost Mode Last?

How long defrost mode lasts depends on your heat pump’s model. In general, it lasts between 5 and 15 minutes. This mode shouldn’t affect the temperature inside your home.

How Do I Know if There’s a Problem?

The defrost mode shouldn’t turn on when it’s warmer than 32 degrees outdoors. It also shouldn’t run for an extended time. Either of these situations indicates there’s a problem.

If you see frost built up on the coils of the outdoor unit of your heat pump, that’s also a sign your heat pump has a problem. The cause can be one of several issues, such as a refrigerant leak, a fan problem, bad wiring or a broken reverse valve. You’ll need to have an HVAC technician inspect your heat pump to determine the problem and make necessary repairs.

Evans Mechanical in Eureka, CA, can help you with heat pump problems. We install, repair and tune-up heaters and air conditioners. We can also improve your home’s indoor air quality and help you with water heaters. Get in touch today to schedule an appointment.