For many people, the idea that their heater can freeze seems both completely illogical and laughable. After all, a heater produces heat, which inherently should prevent freezing. Likewise, with California’s mild winter weather that rarely drops below freezing levels, how could it be possible for anything to get cold enough for ice to form on it without that being its actual intention?

It may seem hard to believe, but a frozen heater is both possible and a huge problem that can cause tremendous damage to your system. Generally, this is an issue that arises when you don’t have enough airflow over your heat pump coils to keep the temperature within an acceptable operating range. While a little bit of frost on your heat pump coils is normal, poor airflow can cause additional water to condense and freeze, adding to the issue until it snowballs out of control and eventually causes your entire heating system to shut down, leaving you in the cold until the coils can melt.

Here are a few of the most common causes of poor airflow that can lead to frozen heat pump coils.

Dirty Air Filter

The importance of changing the air filter in your heater and air conditioner cannot be understated. An air filter clogs up with dirt and dust over time, which blocks air from getting through and passing over your coils as anticipated. When not enough airflow happens, the condensation on your coils can continue to collect and eventually cause your whole system to freeze over.

Dirty Outdoor Unit Area

The outdoor unit in your system needs to remain steady and free from debris like dust, dirt, leaves, plants, and many other things. Additionally, your outdoor unit may have settled, causing the foundation to sink or shift, which can also reduce airflow. Be sure to clean this area thoroughly, keeping all plants, leaves, and other debris at least two feet away from your outside unit to ensure the best operating conditions.

Dirty Coils

The coils themselves may be what’s contributing to your system freezing over. When the coils are dirty, their ability to transfer heat is greatly impacted. Even a thin layer of dust acts as an insulator, preventing heat from being able to transfer effectively between the coil and the outdoor air. As a result, the lack of heat transfer allows the temperature of the coils to continue dropping, which allows water to condense faster and freeze, which only allows the ice problem to continue to grow.

The best way to prevent your heater from freezing over this winter? Have it maintained by a professional Los Angeles heating services expert from JW Plumbing, Heating and Air Schedule your maintenance service today by calling us at (213) 444-2115.

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