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Why Does My Heat Pump Fan Turn Off Then Restart During the Winter?

Arianne Large - Thursday, December 01, 2016
Heat Pump

There are lots of heating and air conditioning questions that come up in the winter, especially when it comes to heat pumps. Because they’re not like other traditional heating systems, they can be a bit of a mystery. One of the most common questions HVAC companies get about heat pumps is why the fan sometimes turns off then restarts. Here is all the info you need on your heat pump.

What Your Heat Pump Does

Heat pumps are different than traditional fuel-burning heating systems in that they are designed to move heat from one area to another instead of generating heat. They take the heat from one area and transfer it to another. During the winter, a heat pump works by extracting heat from the air outside and transferring it to the rooms in your home. 

When the Fan Turns Off, Then Back On

During the winter months, you might notice the fan on the outdoor unit of your heat pump turns off briefly and then back on. Don’t worry; this is a normal function of the heat pump.

If it’s especially cool out, frost can build up on the outdoor unit after it’s been running for an extended period. The system will shut off the fan and go into defrost mode. Defrost mode allows for the ice that has built up on the coil to melt off which helps your unit run more efficiently. You might see steam coming from the unit during the defrost cycle, but don’t worry, this is completely normal.

If you feel like there is something more going on with your heat pump than simply a defrost cycle, be sure to call an HVAC technician to service the unit and make sure it’s functioning properly. For all your heating and air conditioning service needs, including service for your heat pump, contact the team at Helms Heating and Air Conditioning today.