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During the colder months of the year, it’s normal for your heat pump to go through defrost cycles from time to time. This aids the efficiency of your equipment and the rest of your HVAC system. We understand that this cycle can sometimes be confusing and make it seem that your heat pump has issues. 

 Heat Pump Defrost Cycles

Continue reading to learn more about your heat pump’s defrost cycle. 

What Is a Defrost Cycle?

A heat pump takes heat from the outdoors and brings it inside your home. The outdoor coil plays the role of an evaporator since the outdoor air is cold. As temperatures drop, the moisture present in the air freezes on the heat exchanger of the outdoor unit. Frost can develop on the outdoor coils as the fan blows air across the heat exchanger, causing your heat pump to exert more effort to keep you comfortable. It’s the defrost cycle that removes the frost and helps keep your equipment efficient. 

How Does It Work?

You’ll know your heat pump is on the defrost cycle when it stops heating and the fan shuts down. Many units feature a visual indicator, such as a blinking light. From the outside, you’ll notice that the outdoor fan has also stopped working while the compressor is running. If it seems your equipment is constantly on the defrost cycle, contact a heating and air conditioning repair professional immediately. 

Your heat pump operates in reverse when it’s undergoing a defrost cycle. A defrost control sends a signal to the hot refrigerant outdoors for the outdoor coil to start thawing. The outdoor fan will stop running once the heat pump runs in reverse and the coil’s temperature rises. The heat pump will remain in defrost cycle until the coil is around 58 degrees, and the internal heater will stop when there’s no longer frost. Your unit will go back to its heating cycle once the valve reverses. 

If you think something’s not right with your HVAC system, contact AC & Refrigeration Works for superior troubleshooting and repair services. We also offer solutions to help improve your indoor air quality. Give us a call at (956) 255-7227 or fill out our contact form to request a service.