My Heat Pump Is Smoking, What Do I Do?

By: Brian Schutt  |  December 4, 2014

As heat pump systems become increasingly efficient and more prevalent across the Indianapolis area, we are getting more questions from home owners who’ve never dealt with one before. We’ve discussed a few questions already this fall about these systems and some basic functionality.

But, what do you do if your system appears to be smoking? First off, don’t panic. It’s highly unlikely that it’s actual smoke. As we discussed in the previous post, the heat pump goes through a defrost cycle. As you can imagine and see, defrosting creates steam – which admittedly looks quite a bit like smoke. The steam, coupled with the loud noises that usually accompany the defrost cycle, can make many home owners fearful that their system is on the brink of disaster.

What should happen is that after a few minutes (up to 30/45 if it’s very icy) of the defrost cycle, the coils will be clear of ice and the system can again function. If it does not stop, that’s when you have an issue. That’s when you give a trusted heating and cooling company a call.


Brian Schutt


is the co-owner of Homesense Heating | Cooling. Born and raised in Indianapolis, he loves the city and its people, and is committed to bringing a servants mindset into the heating and cooling industry. One of the ways he does that is to translate the technical language of HVAC into the manageable and understandable for homeowners.

Have a question? Tweet him and you'll get an answer promptly.

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