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Frost buildup This is a new unit. There is some frost build up on the coils, is this normal or is there something wrong. This when it is used in heat mode.

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You have a heat pump. It is absolutely normal. Every so often the system will go in to defrost mode where the system actually changes in to cooling so that the outdoor coil will be warm enough to melt the frost. At this time the fan outside will not be running, just the compressor. You may also see some steam coming off of the unit. Don't worry, that is normal too. It's not smoking. Please let me know if this info. was helpful and give me a fixya rating.

Posted on Feb 11, 2009

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Brand New 2 weeks old 4 ton Trane compressor leaks a lot of water onto pad


If the unit is running in cold weather than there is ice building up on the coils located outside. This is normal in that the unit is running in heat pump mode heating inside and cooling outside, After the unit detects the ice build up it briefly reverses the cycle heating the outside coils melting(defrosting) the ice which you observe as water on the pad.

The video gives you an example of the defrost cycle!
2012 Trane XL15i Heat Pump Defrost Cycle Steam Show

Dec 21, 2015 | Heating & Cooling

1 Answer

There is a loud humming coming from outside unit, the fan is not rotating.


Your question does not include what type of system you are asking about, but the assumption is that it is a heat pump. The loud humming is the compressor running by itself while the fan is off.

This is the typical way a reasonably new heat pump operates:
There is a coil temperature sensor that initiates a defrost period to eliminate the frost/ice build up on the outdoor coil. In the defrost mode, the outdoor fan shuts off and the reversing valve in the heat pump reverses the direction of refrigerant flow to warm the outdoor coil. The same coil temperature sensor senses the temperature of the external surface of the coil and tells the defrost control when the frost is gone initiating another 'reverse cycle' to put it back into heating mode. In the heating mode, the outdoor fan runs again.

If you have the heat pump installed where snow drifts accumulate, you will have a problem extracting heat from the outdoor air, and coil frosting and freezing will be exaggerated. If you have excessive ice build up due to a defosting issue, the ice can actually stop the fan from rotating, but you would hear loud bangind and rattling for hours first as the fan blades come in contact with the ice.

If you do not have drifts, but continually have an excessive amount of ice build up, either the sensor is possibly faulty or the defrost control board is faulty. The sensor's clip could easily have been knocked loose from the coil by ice and is no longer sensing coil temperature and if so the result would be the lack of defrost initiation.

Feb 13, 2015 | Heating & Cooling

1 Answer

In middle of night, heat pump makes noise like something comes on and builds up then cuts off with a humming sound over and over again. Temp outside was only 43 degrees F.


The unit is defrosting. This is normal for heat pump systems, and they do it worst when the outdoor temperature is between just below freezing up to about 45 degrees F. The more humid it is outside, the more frost builds up, and the more the outdoor unit will defrost. Below about 25 degrees, most of the water is on the ground (not in the air), so the units will not have to defrost as often when it is that cold outside. If you are curious, you can monitor the unit on a cool, foggy day to see if it is actually building up frost, or if the unit is set wrong and defrosting on a false alarm. IF THE UNIT DOESN'T LOOK VISIBLY FROSTY, IT HAS BEEN SET TO DEFROST TOO OFTEN AND IS WASTING ENERGY! A TECH CALL TO REMEDY THE UNNECESSARY CYCLING WILL PAY FOR ITSELF QUICKLY!

While the outdoor unit is in this mode, it should be steaming and making a buzzing noise. This verifies the frost is being boiled off of the outdoor coil. 25355479-u40lsvyytnuesyuv3fbafhtd-5-0.jpg
Please mark my answer as useful.

Jan 05, 2015 | Heating & Cooling

1 Answer

The heat and ac work, but not all the time. When I first turn the heat on it blows hot, but over a two or more hour period is stops blowing hot and is cold air coming out only.


Ice buildup on the coils is not normal. Once iced over, the coils can no longer extract heat out of the air which is how a heat-pump like this works.

Dec 09, 2014 | Heating & Cooling

1 Answer

Hi, I have an LG artcool A09AHD aircon unit and after a while on the heat cycle, the unit stops and shows a circle with a snowflake and a waterdrop within the circle. Does anybody know what alarm tjis is?...


This may just be the defrost cycle for the outdoor unit. In the heat mode, the outdoor unit builds frost on the coil. The outdoor unit senses how much frost has built up on the coil and reverses the refrigerant cycle to allow the outdoor coil to warm up and defrost it. After a short period, the unit then restores itself to the heat cycle. This is normal operation and nothing to worry about. During the defrost cycle, you may feel some cool air inside your home.

Oct 26, 2013 | LG Heating & Cooling

2 Answers

I have two senville mini split 18000 and they both frost up with in 1 Hr. of use both have been pumped out and recharged


Dear Friend! Before recharging gas.did you check leak testing? If not, again you will same problem.

And some more reasons for frost up:
1. Indoor coil & air filter dust blocked-clean it. 2.Less rpm of indoor fan motor- replace capacitor or motor.
Thanks, it's helpful to you.

Jan 10, 2011 | LG LS-K1830CL Cool Mini Split Air...

1 Answer

My carrier heat pump has frosting on the outside on it's coils. I know that it's cold outside but is that normal?


Yes it is normal especially with high humidity. The moisture freezes on the coils just like on the evaporator coils in a freezer. The heat pump will defrost itself by shutting off the fan outside and reverse the flow of refrigerant to melt the ice when it build up then switch back to normal heat. That's why at times you may feel cold air coming out of the vents in the house. The outside coils are defrosting.

Dec 16, 2010 | Heating & Cooling

1 Answer

Armstrong heat pump goes into defrost mode when the air conditioner is on is this normal ? if not can you tell me the problem.


100% Normal
this unit is cycling similar to a frost free refer, it will fipl or reverse inot defrost every 8-12 hours depending on run time, humidity,temp..
it should last right around 20 mins or less and tehn return to normal operation
this is used to clean the coils of any built up frost, so that thay stay clear for air circulation
unless it stops i would not worry

Aug 16, 2009 | Ruud UBHC Air Conditioner

1 Answer

When heat is running the a/c coils freeze over with frost can you tell me the problem


The outdoor coils getting some frost on them is normal. However the system should periodically (every 30-90 mins of run time) go into "defrost" mode. Essentially it reverts back to cooling and shuts off the outdoor fan. This heats the coil outside to melt the frost. You may see some steam at this time also. Again normal. If this is not happening or not happening often enough the coil will ice up. Inside the outdoor unit is the defrost board. There is usually a pin setting for either 30-45-60 or 90 minutes. Make sure you kill the power to the unit before sticking your hands in there. Check to see what setting your is on and lower it one peg. If it's been colder and/or more humid you may need to cycle sooner. Good luck I hope this works for you. Please don't forget to give me a Fixya rating.

Feb 23, 2009 | Heating & Cooling

1 Answer

Ice or frost on the inside coils of the ac unit


Reduced or no airflow, Evaporator may be dirty. Low on freon.

Jul 31, 2007 | GE AJCQ08ACB Air Conditioner

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