How to Fix Heat Pump Freezing Up

If you have a heat pump, you may have noticed that it has been freezing up lately. This can be a huge inconvenience, and it is important to take steps to fix the issue as soon as possible. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the most common causes of heat pump freezing and tips on how to fix heat pump freezing up. Stay tuned for more information!

How to Fix Heat Pump Freezing Up

Summary: If your heat pump is freezing up, it can be a serious problem. So we’ll cover topics such as raising the temperature setting, cleaning or replacing the air filter, checking for refrigerant leaks, and inspecting the evaporator coils. Additionally, we’ll discuss how to adjust the thermostat fan setting, upgrade to a newer model, add a heat pump cover, use a space heater and dehumidifier, and call a professional for more serious repairs.

What Causes Heat Pump Freezing?

There are a few different reasons your heat pump may freeze. One of the most common causes is due to low outdoor temperatures. If the temperature outside is below freezing, your heat pump may work harder than usual to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature. This can cause the coils to freeze, eventually leading to a complete system shutdown. Another common cause of heat pump freezing is a dirty air filter. A dirty air filter can restrict airflow and cause the coils to freeze over.

A third common cause of heat pump freezing is a refrigerant leak. A refrigerant leak can cause the coils to freeze over and may eventually lead to compressor failure. The other common causes of heat pump freezing are due to incorrect settings, low airflow, and a faulty defrost control board. Lastly, an older heat pump may not be as efficient as a newer model and may be more likely to freeze up.

Why Is It Important to Fix Heat Pump Freezing?

Heat pump freezing can be a huge inconvenience, and it can also lead to costly repairs. If your heat pump freezes, it will likely stop working altogether. This can leave your home without heating or cooling, which can be uncomfortable (and even dangerous) during extreme weather conditions. Additionally, if your heat pump is frozen for an extended period, the coils can become damaged, and the compressor can fail. This can be a very costly repair and may even require you to replace your heat pump entirely.

Another reason it is important to fix heat pump freezing is that it can lower the efficiency of your heat pump. A heat pump that is constantly freezing up will have to work harder to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature, which can lead to higher energy bills. Finally, heat pump freezing can signify a more serious problem, such as a refrigerant leak. If you notice your heat pump is freezing up more frequently, it is important to fix the issue as soon as possible to avoid further damage.

10 Ways How to Fix Heat Pump Freezing Up

1. Raise the Temperature Setting

If your heat pump is constantly freezing up, one of the first things you should do is raise the temperature setting. This will help reduce the amount of work your heat pump has to do, preventing the coils from freezing. Additionally, raising the temperature setting will also help to reduce energy costs. To raise the temperature setting, first, locate the thermostat. Once you have found the thermostat, increase the temperature by a few degrees. If you have an older heat pump, you may need to increase the temperature by more than a few degrees.

Raise the Temperature Setting

2. Clean or Replace the Air Filter

If your heat pump has a dirty air filter, it can restrict airflow and cause the coils to freeze over. To prevent this, cleaning or replacing the air filter regularly is important. Most heat pumps have a disposable air filter that should be replaced every few months. However, some heat pumps have a reusable air filter that can be cleaned and reused. To clean a reusable air filter, remove it from the heat pump and then rinse it off with water. Let the filter dry completely before putting it back in the heat pump. If you have a disposable air filter, replace it with a new one.

3. Check for Refrigerant Leaks

If your heat pump has a refrigerant leak, it can cause the coils to freeze over and may eventually lead to compressor failure. To prevent this, first, check for any signs of a refrigerant leak. If you notice any leaks, it is important to have them repaired as soon as possible. Once the leaks have been repaired, you should also have the refrigerant levels checked to ensure they are at the correct levels.

4. Inspect the Evaporator Coils

The evaporator coils help to remove heat from the air. If these coils are dirty, they will not work as efficiently and can cause the unit to freeze up. Clean the coils with a brush and Vacuum cleaner attachment. If you cannot reach the coils, you may need to hire a professional to clean them for you. Avoid using chemicals or cleaners that can damage the coils.

5. Adjust the Thermostat Fan Setting

The thermostat fan setting controls the speed of the blower fan. If this setting is too low, the coils can freeze over. To prevent this, make sure to set the thermostat fan setting to “Auto” rather than “On.” Doing this will ensure that the fan only runs when needed, saving energy and preventing the coils from freezing over. If you have a programmable thermostat, you can also set the fan to run for a few minutes before the compressor turns on, which will help thaw the coils.

Set the Thermostat Fan Setting

6. Upgrade to a Newer Model

If your heat pump is more than ten years old, it may be time to upgrade to a newer model. Newer models are more energy-efficient and can help save you money on your energy bills. Additionally, newer models may have features that prevent the coils from freezing over, such as a defrost cycle. If you are considering upgrading to a newer model, be sure to have a professional heat pump technician inspect your current unit to ensure it is properly sized for your home.

7. Add a Heat Pump Cover

If you live in an area where the winters are particularly cold, adding a heat pump cover can help to prevent the unit from freezing over. Heat pump covers are designed to fit over the top of the unit, protecting it from the elements. When choosing a heat pump cover, be sure to select one that is made from durable materials and is properly sized for your unit. If you have a multi-stage heat pump, be sure to get a cover that is designed for multi-stage units.

8. Use a Space Heater

If your heat pump is freezing up frequently, you may want to consider using a space heater in the room where the unit is located. This will help thaw the coils and prevent the unit from freezing. Be sure to choose a space heater that is properly sized for the room, and that has an automatic shut-off feature.

9. Use a Dehumidifier

If the air in your home is too humid, it can cause the heat pump to freeze up. To prevent this, you can use a dehumidifier to remove excess moisture from the air. This will help keep the heat pump from freezing and will also make your home more comfortable. First, set the dehumidifier to the proper setting. Then, please place it in an area of your home where it will get good air circulation. Lastly, check the dehumidifier regularly to make sure it is working properly. If the dehumidifier is not working properly, you may need to replace it.

Check the Dehumidifier Regularly

10. Call a Professional

If you have tried all of the above tips and your heat pump is still freezing up, it is time to call a professional. A professional can diagnose the problem and make the necessary repairs. Additionally, a professional can help you choose a new heat pump if your current unit is too old or damaged to be repaired.

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Tips and Warnings on How to Fix Heat Pump Freezing Up


  1. Check the outdoor unit of your heat pump. If there is ice or snow buildup, remove it before continuing.
  2. Inspect the coils and fins on the outdoor unit for damage. If any are damaged, replace them before continuing.
  3. Locate the thermostat and set it to ” emergency heat.” This will bypass the heat pump and use only the backup heat source.
  4. Check the air filter and replace it if it is dirty.
  5. Have a professional inspect and service your heat pump to ensure it is working properly.


  1. Do not try to thaw a frozen heat pump with an open flame or other heat sources. This could damage the unit.
  2. Do not operate your heat pump if it is frozen. This could damage the unit and void your warranty.
  3. Do not operate your heat pump if it is damaged. This could cause further damage and void your warranty.
Do Not Try to Thaw

Frequently Asked Questions

What Should I Do if My Heat Pump Freezes Up?

If your heat pump freezes up, there are a few things you can do to help remediate the situation. You can thaw out the unit by turning it off at the breaker box and then on again once it has defrosted, or you may be able to wait until morning when the cold outside temperature will cause frostbite on its own. If neither of these work, you may need to call in a professional.

If this is an emergency situation and Frostbitten Heating & Cooling is not available, then consider breaking open one of your freeze panels from the inside and using that as a staging area for hydrants or tanks while technicians repair your unit from the outside. In any case, make sure that all vents are open and that proper insulation levels are maintained so condensation does not build up again.

Why Does My Heat Pump Keep Freezing Over?

A heat pump is natural gas or oil-fired machine that transfers heat from one space to another. When the outdoor temperature falls below the inside temperature, energy is extracted from the heating unit (or engine) to create warmth inside. This cycle repeats as long as there is a demand for heat.

If your home’s furnace isn’t up to snuff, it may be struggling against extreme cold temperatures outside and freezing over on occasion. The first step in resolving this issue might be checking your HVAC system for wear and tear – especially if you notice any unusual noises or problems while the heater is operating. If those repairs don’t solve your problem, then it’s time to consider replacing your old furnace with a more modern model that can handle colder weather conditions better.

Should I Turn My Heat Pump Off in Extreme Cold?

the decision of whether or not to turn your heat pump off in extreme cold will vary depending on the type of heat pump and the severity of the cold. However, some tips that may be useful include the following:

  1. Check your heat pump’s thermostat – Make sure to check your heat pump’s thermostat to see if it has been set to automatic or manual mode. In automatic mode, the heat pump will attempt to keep the house at a comfortable temperature by turning it on and off as needed. In manual mode, the user will have to manually turn on the heat pump whenever they want it to work.
  2. Beware of frozen pipes – Frozen pipes can cause your heat pump to break down and fail, which can result in dangerous temperatures in your home. Keep an eye out for signs that your pipe is frozen, such as water leaking from underneath the sink or warm air coming out of your vents even when it’s below freezing outside. If you notice any of these signs, don’t hesitate to call a professional.
  3. Keep a close eye on your energy bills – When your house is at a dangerously cold temperature, you may see higher energy bills due to increased energy usage by your heat pump. Try to keep an eye on your energy bills throughout the winter season and make adjustments as needed so that you don’t end up spending too much money on unnecessary bills.

Can a Dirty Filter Cause Heat Pump to Freeze?

Typically, yes. A dirty filter can cause a heat pump to freeze because it’s not effectively removing moisture from the air. When this happens, water droplets condense on the cold surfaces of the heat pump unit (the coils), and in turn, this causes an increase in your energy bill due to increased cooling costs. If you’re concerned about this possibility, it would be best to have your HVAC professional inspect your system regularly for any sign of filth or damage.

When Should I Use Emergency Heat on My Heat Pump?

it depends on a variety of factors, including the weather conditions in your area. However, if you think that there might be a problem with your heat pump, then it’s important to take action as soon as possible. Emergency heat can help to restore normal temperature levels and prevent serious damage from happening.

When using emergency heat, make sure that all relevant safety precautions are taken such as checking the system regularly for leaks and proper installation of heating equipment. If problems do arise during the use of emergency heat, call an expert who can advise on repairs or replacement options.


So there you have it, ten tips on how to fix heat pump freezing up. Following these tips can keep your heat pump from freezing and working properly. If you have questions, write them down and ask a professional heat pump technician. They will be able to help you troubleshoot the problem and make the necessary repairs. Thanks for reading!

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