My unit sometimes stops outside and it looks like smoke is coming from it, it still heats well. I was told this is normal is this true?
Karen from Ocean Springs, MS
If your unit is a heat pump, you have no worries. A Heat Pump has to defrost just like your household refrigerator. So while it may look like smoke, it is only steam caused by the system performing a defrost cycle. You don’t see the steam caused by your refrigerator’s defrost cycle because of the cabinetry which covers the working parts. However, it still performs a defrost cycle twice a day, every day of the year, unnoticed. Because your heat pump is outside, where it defrosts in the open atmosphere, you see the steam.
A heat pump should defrost approximately every 90 minutes of its accumulative heat cycle run time and only if its defrost temperature set point is met. You will generally catch a heat pump defrosting in the early morning hours after a cold night. It is normal to see frost on your outdoor heat pump section; however, it is NOT normal to see a buildup of ice. Also, if you see frosting streaks, that is intermittent frost lines, you may need service.
If your system is NOT heating your home, you can use the Emergency Heat Mode or Em. Heat on your thermostat until you can have service preformed. Emergency Heat Mode should only be used for temporary heat mainly due to high operating costs of this mode. Heat pumps are a very efficient method to heat/ cool your home if installed and used properly. Proper use should include regular service by an N.A.T.E. certified dealer. If you have a concern about your heating system, please give us a call for service at 228-832-9457.