3 Tips for Mini-Split Heat Pumps in the Winter

Comfortable home

Here in Atlantic Canada, we’re firmly in the grip of one of our usual cold, wet, and stormy winters. Luckily, if you have a Daikin mini-split heat pump in your home, you can keep cozy all winter, as long as you follow a few basic maintenance tips. Read on to learn how to keep your mini-split heat pump in top condition all winter long.

Curious about how heat pumps work in cold weather? Read Why Heat Pumps Still Work So Well in the Winter!

Keep The Outdoor Unit Clear of Snow

One of the most important factors in keeping your mini-split functioning efficiently throughout the winter is to make sure that it’s clear of snow. Failing to clear snow away from the unit is one of the most common mistakes homeowners make.

Outdoor compressor units are generally mounted at least two feet above the ground to keep them clear of snow and other debris—but as we all know, it’s not unusual to see snow pile up that high in this part of the country.

If your outdoor unit becomes blocked or clogged with snow, your heat pump will end up devoting more energy to melting that snow than it will to heating your home. After any significant snowfall, you should make a quick check of the outdoor unit to ensure there’s no snow blocking or clogging the unit. Taking a few minutes to clear away any accumulated snow will help ensure that your heat pump is functioning as efficiently as possible.

Prevent Buildup of Ice

Atlantic Canadian winters are characterized by frequent freeze/thaw cycles. That means in addition to snow, homeowners in this part of the country also need to be especially vigilant about the buildup of ice on their heat pumps.

A common issue faced by homeowners in this part of the country is dealing with meltwater that drips off of their roof and then freezes on the ground or outdoor equipment, or meltwater coming off the unit itself when it’s in defrost mode.. Ice freezing onto your outdoor unit has a lot of the same effects as snow clogging the unit, with the added risk of doing physical damage to the unit over the long term.

If you notice ice building up on your heat pump, the best way to deal with it is to melt the ice by pouring warm water over it.

Be Gentle When Clearing Snow and Ice

A common mistake that homeowners make when trying to clear the ice or snow off of a heat pump is to use a sharp or heavy object like a shovel or windshield scraper to remove the ice. Don’t do this! You’re risking major (and expensive to repair) damage.

If you aren’t able to easily brush away the snow and ice, clear away as much as you can and then use warm water to melt what remains. The heat pump itself will also work with you to melt away ice or snow that is affecting its performance.

If you’re patient and allow the ice and snow to melt so you can gently brush it away, your Daikin heat pump will keep you warm and comfortable for years to come.

Still considering whether or not to install a heat pump in your home? Check out our Heat Pump Savings Calculator to learn how much you could be saving on heating each month.