Can Snow and Ice Damage My Heat Pump in Colorado Springs, CO?

During the frigid winters in Colorado Springs, CO, heavy snowfall is commonplace. That means that snow and ice can inflict all kinds of damage on outdoor equipment, including your heat pump. Here are a few of the ways snow and ice buildup can harm this crucial system.

Impeding Airflow

At the start of every heating cycle, a heat pump must pull in air from outdoors and use refrigerant to extract heat from it. But if lots of snow covers the outdoor components of your heat pump, it won’t be able to do this as effectively. Your thermostat may then try to force your heat pump to work harder to generate results, thereby unnecessarily raising your energy bills.

If snow and ice get into your heat pump’s fans, they will also limit the degree to which the system will be able to distribute air across your home. You’ll need repairs or maintenance to fix this problem.

Excess Pressure

If snow and ice buildup can prevent air from effectively moving into and throughout your heat pump, they can also prevent it from smoothly moving out. We’ve already mentioned that this can diminish your heat pump’s ability to warm your home this winter, but another consequence of this is that the pressure inside your system will increase. This can cause untold damage to your heat pump if it goes unchecked, and it may even cause the whole thing to fail.

Decreasing Refrigerant Pressure

In the final key step of the heating cycle, heat pumps condense gaseous refrigerant and force it to release its stored heat into the air indoors. However, the condenser cannot do this if the refrigerant is not already at a sufficiently high pressure when it reaches it. When snow covers your heat pump’s evaporator coils, compressor, refrigerant lines, and other parts, it will decrease the temperature and pressure of the refrigerant flowing through the system, thus opening the door for this issue.

Heavy snowfall in Colorado Springs, CO is a constant threat to your heat pump’s integrity this winter. For help keeping things in order, call I.C.E. Heating & Cooling and ask for our heat pump services.

Image provided by iStock

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