Stay Ahead of The Weather
In Florida we don't get a lot of weather like this and over the next few days it will be both cold and wet. Here are a few things to consider
Stay Warm w/ a Heat Pump
Heat pump systems are common in Florida and due to how they work a little frost may build on the outside unit when the outdoor temperatures drop. The photo above shows a unit that has TOO MUCH ICE this is a sign of a problem with the defrost controls.
Heat pumps must go into a defrost from time to time to get the ice off of the outdoor coil. When this happens it can be quite disturbing as it often happens in the middle of the night and you will observe the following.
- A drop in indoor temperature
- Cold air from the vents
- A loud whooshing sound followed by a short grinding sound
- Steam from the outdoor unit that can look like white smoke
- The outdoor motor stops running
I know it sounds crazy but all of these things are normal during defrost. Do not shut the unit off, just give it 20 minutes or so and it should be back to normal.It is a good idea not to mess the thermostat when you have a heat pump unit. Just set it to between 67 and 72 degrees and let it run.
In Florida it is common to see uninsulated PVC and CPVC pipes outside at backflow prevention valves and running into the outside wall of the home. It is a good idea to insulate these pipes with foam insulation to prevent freezing and cracking.
Use Common Sense w/ The Pool
Many pools in Florida are heated with a pool heat pump instead of gas. If you have a heat pump pool heater keep in mind that the coil WILL begin freeze if you run the unit during cold temperatures and once it freezes it will either shut itself until it defrosts OR it won't shut off and it will freeze solid. Either way, when it get's below 55 degrees outside heat pump pool heaters are going to really struggle. Here are some top tips
- Don't run pool heat pumps at night. It is colder at night and will increase the likelihood of freezing.
- Start days in advance, heat pumps are going to take days to warm up a pool when running during cold weather
- Cover the pool whenever it isn't in use. Keeping an uncovered pool warm with a heat pump in cold weather will be a losing battle.
- If you see a pool heater with ice on it that doesn't mean it always has an issue. You can defrost it with a hose and let it dry during the day to get it working again. Once again, if it's cold at night, don't run it at night.