What If My Heat Pump Condenser Is Frozen?

What If My Heat Pump Condenser Is Frozen?. Heat pumps operate efficiently at temperatures above 37 degrees Fahrenheit. To prevent solid freezing of the refrigerant in the condenser coil, heat pumps have a defrost cycle. However, if the defrost cycle fails or the system becomes clogged with debris, you may have to manually defrost the condenser coil.

Defrost frozen condenser coils with a slow, steady stream of water.

Why Does the Condenser Freeze?

Condensation and outside humidity allow frost and ice to form on the condenser coil. If outside conditions do not trigger the defrost cycle, at temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, the liquid refrigerant inside the condenser coil will begin to ice.

Clear the Heat Pump Casing

Remove any debris from around the heat pump. Air circulation will help prevent ice from forming and remove humidity. Open the heat pump casing and clear any internal debris clogging the fan or condenser coil.

Defrost the Condensers Coil Manually

By pouring water on the frozen coil, you can melt the ice and thaw the refrigerant. Do not use hot or warm water, as it may damage the coil during thawing. Use free flowing water from a garden hose or tap.

Contact a Service Technician

Contact a service technician immediately to repair the defrost control board if the system continues to freeze.


  • International Association of Certified Home Inspectors: Defrost Cycle of a Heat Pump
  • HVAC-for-Beginners.com: Heat Pump Troubleshooting, The Basics...
  • Hannaberry HVAC: Heat pump Iced-up in Winter: