Cold Climate Maintenance Guidelines

Daikin heat pump in winter

How to Take Care of your Heat Pump in the Winter

  • Maintain clearance around the outdoor unit to promote easy drainage and reduce snow and ice buildup.
  • We strongly recommend the use of a pan heater to avoid defrost discharge freezing inside the condenser in very cold outdoor temperatures.
  • The base Pan Heater Kit is an option for colder climate applications and conditions we experience in Atlantic Canada where a large number of heating operating hours are seen between -8ºC coupled with large amount of snowfall.

Understanding Defrost Cycle

During normal operation over winter months, heat pumps routinely perform a defrost cycle to clear ice build up on the condenser coil.

What is a “defrost cycle”?

In heating mode a heat pump extracts heat from the outside air.  This heat is transferred into warm air circulating throughout your home.  When the ambient temperature outside is close to or below 0°C, moisture in the air freezes on the outdoor unit condenser coil. When the system recognizes ice forming on the outdoor coil, a defrost cycle is triggered, removing ice and ensuring the system transfers heat most efficiently.

Why does my unit have to do a defrost cycle?

Any ice building up on the outside heat exchanger reduces the airflow across it, which will effect the efficiency, sometimes reducing it dramatically. In extreme cases this can also cause damage to the outdoor unit.

What Should I Expect in Extreme Cold Conditions?

  • When the weather is constant at -15°C or lower for many heating operating days, the defrost cycle will generate more ice in your outdoor unit.
  • You should check your unit during these conditions and de-ice if required.
snowflake icon


What Should I do in a Storm?

In heavy snow fall, it is recommended to shut unit to avoid snow from accumulating in and out. When the storm is completed, clear the snow around the unit. If snow has accumulated in unit, shut the breaker and use warm water to clear pan area of snow and ice.

daikin heat pump in snow
daikin heat pump in snow



What problems does a Daikin Warranty not cover?

  • Damage or repairs required as a consequence of faulty installation or application.
  •  Damage as a result of floods, fires, winds, lightning, accidents, corrosive atmosphere, or other conditions beyond Daikin’s control. 
  • Damage or the need for repairs arising from the use of components or accessories not compatible with this unit.
  • Normal maintenance as described in the installation and operating manual, such as cleaning of the coils, filter cleaning and/or replacement, and lubrication.
  • Parts or accessories not supplied or designated by manufacturer.
  • Damage or the need for repairs resulting from any improper use, maintenance, operation, or servicing.
  • Damage or failure of the unit to start due to interruption in electrical service or inadequate electrical service.
  • Any damage caused by frozen or broken water pipes in the event of equipment failure.
  • Changes in the appearance of the unit that does not affect its performance.
  • Replacement of fuses and replacement or resetting of circuit breakers.

Failure to clear the unit of snow and ice will jeopardize the warranty.