Defrost Cycle: How It Works

Defrost Cycle: How It Works

Did you know that your heating and air conditioning unit will need to run through a defrost cycle at various times of the year? This important feature is designed to help your unit work properly throughout the cooler winter months. In fact, without the defrost cycle, and the regular maintenance provided by trusted professionals, your HVAC won’t be able to operate properly.

What Is The Defrost Cycle?

When used in the heating mode, the heat pump on the unit will pull outside air into your home. The unit then works to warm the air as it transitions from the outside to the interior of your home. When the temperatures dip too low, however, then the moisture in the air will begin to freeze on the outdoor unit’s heat pump. Fortunately, the defrost cycle is designed so that the unit automatically recognizes that ice is forming and stops the issue from persisting.  

Why Does Your Unit Need To Go Through The Defrost Cycle?

Did you know that when ice builds up on the exterior of a heat exchanger it can cause a reduction in efficiency and potential damage to the unit? The defrost cycle is your HVAC unit’s automated solution to removing the ice from the heat exchanger. The number of times that your unit will enter the defrost cycle will depend on a variety of factors including the outdoor humidity level, the air temperature, the condition of the heat pump, and the amount of heat that the unit needs to deliver.

How Can You Tell If Your Unit Is In The Defrost Cycle?

If your unit has entered into its defrost cycle, then it will temporarily stop heating. Additionally, the indoor fan will stop spinning. Finally, the unit will have an indicator light that will either blink or turn on when it is running a defrost cycle. It’s important to note that your unit can enter into a defrost cycle as frequently as every 40 minutes.

How Long Does The Defrost Cycle Take?

The length of the defrost cycle will depend on a variety of factors. However, as a general rule of thumb, the defrost cycle on most units lasts approximately 10 minutes. No matter the length of time, it is important that you don’t interrupt the unit’s defrost cycle. Interrupting a defrost cycle can cause the unit to work inefficiently and can cause long-term damage.

A/C Designs Offers Heating & Cooling Maintenance

Just as your HVAC unit is designed to automatically run the defrost cycle to prevent damage, so too should you schedule regular maintenance on your unit. Proactive maintenance of a heating and air conditioning system has proven to reduce operation cost, improve air quality, extend the life of the equipment, and reduce the risk of an emergency repair. To schedule a comprehensive maintenance exam of your unit, contact A/C Designs today.