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icing problems with acadia heat pump

Nov 30, 2010 10:54AM PST

I am experiencing severe icing problems with my 2 year old acadia when humidity is high and temp is about 40. I can't seem to get response from factory and service people were not helpful. I turned unit off and deiced to recover - but need to leave for the winter soon and am terrified I bought a product that has a significant and perhaps fatal flaw. I am suspicious about lack of posts on this subject on the net since local service man had heard "rumors" of Hallowell problems - and had icing problems on one of units they installed.

Discussion is locked

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cnet score a home run
Dec 1, 2010 3:39AM PST

I received info from a previous cnet post and contacted an Acadia owner who had the same problem. He reported that a year ago he found out via his HVAC installer that a new icing sensor board was being retrofitted and this fixed the problem.

I managed to make contact with the Tech rep at Hallowell (a Mr. Norm Springer) who verified that my system needed the same fix. (All units distributed through FW Webb which was later than my install had been upgraded)

The part is on its way to my HVAC company - and I am hopefull that it will fix the problem. Thank you cnet.

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Tech rep from hallowelll
Dec 21, 2010 1:27AM PST

Just curious how you got in contact w/ a tech rep. from Hallowell. All I have been hearing is that they are not responding to phonecalls or emails?

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Hallowell response
Dec 21, 2010 10:14PM PST

My phone calls were not promptly answered but when i sent a panic description of my situation - I received an e_mail from their senior service manager.

My having determined that my system possible had not been upgraded to a fix relevant to the problem (I learned about it on cnet) seemed to help.

The factory did send the parts to my HVAC contractor who installed the complete new board and sensors last week. The parts were sent free of charge from Hallowell. My next issue will be if the HVAC contractor charges me for the install of what in my case was a clearly needed factory upgrade.

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Dec 23, 2010 3:02AM PST

Did he indicate if they were in business? going out of business? being aquired? or what was going on up there?

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Dec 23, 2010 8:51PM PST

He indicated that they were still in business. I have heard through several sources that they are deep in acquisition discussions.

What is your intrest. Please reply

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Dec 27, 2010 9:33PM PST

I had a 4 ton unit installed in the summer of 2010. We just finished building our new house and so far so good with the Acadia. I was a big cheerleader for these things once I started reading about them and like I said, we've been happy with it so far...My concern is that they will not be around to support them in the future and I hate so see if I made a poor choice...We are in this house for the long haul and wanted a heating system that we would not be at the mercy of fluctuating petrolium prices and hope to one day install a pv system to supplement the power from the utility compaines. So far mine has been heating and cooling as advertised and the utility bills have been about where we expected them to be. I have seen some other blogs with horror stories and once I read that they stopped answering the phone and emails, I was getting a bit concerned. I hope they come back successfully, I think they have a great product. Your entry was the first that I saw that they were answering the phone and still providing support. Good to know!

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Lots of problems with our Acadia
Jan 8, 2011 12:57PM PST

We have a 3 ton Acadia that was installed in June 2009 and have had a lot of problems. So far the control board has had to replaced three times and the last time there was a fire inside the unit. Our HVAC installer has not been able to get Hallowell to respond to them or send needed parts, so even though it's still under parts warranty we had to pay for some parts to complete the repair. The HVAC installer also told us that many people were having problems. We also thought we liked it after it was first installed, but I've gotten to know our HVAC guys far too well over the past year and half because of persistent problems with the Acadia. This last repair cost $530 because Hallowell stopped sending parts. Now my HVAC installer doesn't want to have anything to with them anymore and says that he will unlikely be able to repair ours anymore because Hallowell will respond to requests for parts. We sunk a lot of money into this and I'm looking for people to start a class action suit against Hallowell, although I think they are likely bankrupt. I hope you have better luck than we have.

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I'm with you
Jan 27, 2011 11:26PM PST

Have networked with others who are willing to get some legal action going-have one other person here in my town and one in Mich my email is please send me you r info so we may talk

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acadia heat pump problems
Jan 8, 2011 12:34PM PST

We have had several problems, icing being one of them. There was also a fire inside of ours and thank God we were home and smelled the smoke in our basement. I would not leave home for extended periods of time. You should leave the back up system on and have your home set at 55deg. My husband and I are now trying to find people who will put help us put together a class action suit against Hallowell. They do not answer the phone and are not sending out parts.
Please reply if you are interested in the joining the suit.

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Acadia problems
Jan 11, 2011 2:54AM PST

I too have had many problems with BOTH of my Acadia units and would definatly be interested in any class action suit that being put together.

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Hallowell Class Action
Jan 19, 2011 1:36AM PST

Just fyi - there was someone posting on Squidoo (another blog/post site) with a topic dedicated to the Acadia nonsense. They too were discussing a class action. Either way, I'd be interested in being kept in the loop on a class action against Hallowell. Right now, my system works. But from Thanksgiving until last week, it didn't and my truly wonderful HVAC guy worked his butt off trying to get parts, fix it, whatever he could do. One month and one HUGE electric bill later (emergency electric heat for that whole time frame), we got the new compressor and it's working right now. But I hold my breath until the next problem. Rumor has it that Hallowell is getting some kind of "big brother" company to sweep in and save us all, but I'll believe that when I see it. And when they answer their phones. And honor their warranty service. Oh, and fix all the glitches that are screwing up this whole Acadia system. When it works, it's a dream. Cheap heat and a/c. But I think we're all pretty angry about the investment we made in this system at the moment...
Kathy in Massachusetts

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Continuing Hallowell Acadia Issues
Jan 19, 2011 5:48AM PST


I too live in Mass, Metrowest to be more specific. Perhaps we could combine forces, or at least discuss our situations and see if there is anything we can pass on to each other.

Ken 508.514.1414

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Abandoned by Hallowell
Jan 19, 2011 7:49AM PST

I've been posting on both Squidoo and here about our Acadia problems. My next door neighbor who's a lawyer recommended first trying to go through the State Attorney General's office to try to get something out of Hallowell. In the meantime I've complained to the BBB and am now formulating a letter to the MA Attorney General. Hallowell is just not answering the phone or emails or anything and they have to be held accountable for this mess. Right now our unit is working after I paid for some parts to fix it that should have been covered under the warranty, but who knows for how long. When it works I have to say it works well, but it breaks down a lot and after the first year that costs a lot in labor fees (and now parts, since they are not honoring their warranty). I question whether any big brother is going to want to inherit this mess. If you want to start organizing about what to do my email is I don't this email everyday, but I will check at least once per week and hopefully we can come up with a way to move forward. At present, if any Hallowell specific part breaks, we have an extremely expensive lawn ornament on the side of our house.

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Class action
Jan 11, 2011 5:19AM PST

David Friedman
154 Turner Way
Laconia, NH --- 03246

Right now the unit is functioning and not icing 9withthe new control board and sensors) buat I am obviously concerned if the pending deal with I think Carrier falls thru and unit becomes non functional with nowhere to turn for support.

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Problems with Acadia Heat Pump
Jan 24, 2011 9:25AM PST

Chris Simpkins
Moultonborough, NH

I built a new home and installed a 3-ton Hallowell Acadia system in April of 2008. Right now this a second home for our family. The system worked impressively for the first year and I was a big advocate. I work in the construction field and the Hallowell was under consideration to be used as the base HVAC system in line of high performance homes. We didn't fair so well last winter. The 2nd stage pump ceased up in the middle of the winter and the heat pump shut down. Hallowell did replace with a new unit, but I had significant labor costs to make the change. This Fall the zone control board failed and the system went in lockdown. It's not a Hallowell part but I am getting real nervous now. More labor costs. I have been noticing icing issues at the bottom of the unit over the last month. I have tried contacting Hallowell repeatedly (Norm Springer, Mark Risinger and Dan Hallowell)since this Fall with no response. Due to the severe cold, I came up tonight to check the system. The heat pump is shut down again and the house is heating on the back up coil. Needless to say I am angry and looking for replacement solutions now!!

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icing at the bottom
Jan 24, 2011 11:49AM PST

Our Acadia is also icing up at the bottom only. We live in MA and have had quite a bit of snow and the snow was almost up to the level of the HP, so I decided to shovel the snow out from around the unit and thawed as much of the ice as I could using a portable heater. But it seems to be icing up again around the bottom. We never had this problem before. We had to have a new control board installed due to a major malfunction prior to Thanksgiving in which the HVAC installer received some parts, like the control board initially, but then Hallowell stopped communicating with them and with us, and we had to buy a new transformer ourselves since Hallowell never shipped that part (meanwhile we were on emergency electric backup for over a month waiting for the part). But, I'm wondering if it has something to do with the new control board and a change in the defrost cycle now. It seems like it's not defrosting long enough for all of the ice to melt prior to starting up again. If anyone knows the solution to this problem please post it here. We're researching other systems, but obviously are a little gun-shy about heat pumps at this point (it's sobering to think that this outfit can get over 8K for a unit that doesn't seem to have been field tested and then just walk away from their customers in the dead of one of the most severe winters in recent memory.

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Bottom icing, sometimes
Jan 26, 2011 11:40PM PST

This is the 4th winter for my 4 ton Acadia heat pump and this is the first winter I've had (or noticed) the icing on the bottom 6" of the heat exchanger. I noticed it this year because the indoor heat could not get up to the thermostat setting, so I called a local Acadia repair service. I know there is a lot of unhappyness out there about the Acadia units and the factory service. I have over the 3 years, found then reasonably attentive to my problems. I pray that continues. Back to the icing. The icing was intermittent, meaning I removed it and it came back. Then I removed it again and it didn't come back even though we had extreemely low temperatures and the house was warm. The serviceman found a faulty outdoor temp sensor and he also noticed that the booster relay was stuck ON. The parts were installed yesterday and we got 10" of snow last night. So far, it was running better before the repairs and now the ice is back and the house is cold. I'll call them is a couple minutes and get back to this.

To remove the ice, use warm water. I found that placing a 5 gallon bucket on top of the unit and using a small tube or hose to syphon the water and direct it at the ice. It takes me 3 buckets to complete the job.

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Acadia Problems
Jan 27, 2011 6:00AM PST

Hi All,

I've posted on a couple of other boards and figured I'd post here. I've had many of the same problems with the Acadia. We built our house in southern NH in 2008 and went with the Acadia. The compressor went on that unit before it was 1 year old, so the unit was entirely replaced free of charge. The 2nd unit first died in the middle of the summer of last year (right during a heat wave). The fan motor went on it. After that was fixed (I had to pay for labor) it seemed to work fine until Thanksgiving. The day before Thanksgiving the compressor went. Our local HVAC company could not get in touch with Hallowell at all. We waited 4 weeks, heating the house with our wood stove and still nothing. We decided to pull the Acadia unit and replace it with a York YZH and supplement it with a pellet stove. Our Acadia unit is now in back of our garage under a tarp. I'm hoping Hallowell gets bought out some day and fixes the unit. I'll use it to heat the garage or something...

I filed a complaint with the BBB and they got no response after 1 month from Hallowell. Not sure where to go next, but I'd be happy to join any class action activity that may be gaining steam...

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Hallowell Acadia Heat Pump Icing up
Jan 27, 2011 11:36AM PST

Here is follow up information from my latest problem with the Hallowell unit. First off there is some news from Hallowell. Norm Springer from service did respond to my email and phone call. A skeleton crew has been called back to answer calls. There is a buy out in process and apparently it is getting close to closure. He says he will work with me on the latest problem. I got a call from my service tech today that he was able to get the heat pump working again. He says the icing up condition is what shut it down. He de-iced the unit and was able to get it running again. This is a frustrating problem as I had previously de-iced it myself twice only for it to come back again. I will be following up with Hallowell and Norm Springer tomorrow. This is obviously a widespread problem and not acceptable for winters in NH.

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My icing and other issues
Jan 28, 2011 1:13AM PST

Norm sent a new control board with all of the associated temperature sensors which seemed to fix the icing.

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Hallowell Acadia Heat Pump Icing up
Feb 11, 2011 9:21PM PST

I can't get any follow up response from Hallowell after Norm Springer responded about a month ago. The unit continues to ice up and the heat pump goes into the lock up mode which leaves me heating the house on the back up coil. It's been de-iced 5 times so far. KW usage jumped 70% this month from Jan. 2010 because of it! I have another $150 service bill! All I want is the PC board to try and solve this problem. I was a Hallowell believer and promoter. I am an active builder participant in energy efficient and green construction. This was an experiment to test before selling to customers. Hallowell has put it to myself and so many people. I am so glad that it has not been installed at any of our customer's homes!! Unlike Hallowell we care about the quality of what we do and take performance serious.

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Jan 28, 2011 1:52AM PST

could you ask Norm where my compressor unit is? Been 2 weeks and can't give us a date. thanks

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Delay in Service/Parts for Hallowell Acadia Heat Pump
Feb 2, 2011 7:30AM PST

I've also had an icing problem last winter. Currently the system needs a new compressor but have had no service since January 1st as they supposedly cannot get the part so it's been running in emergency mode since then. My service contractor has no answers and I've had no reply from Hallowell. My system is 2 1/2 years old with multiple problems. Will the new company honor our warranties and provide technical support? After investing over $18,000 for this system, I sincerely hope there is a solution. So much for going green in the Northeast.

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Me Too
Feb 10, 2011 12:38PM PST

My 4 ton acadia was installed in october of 08. I fixed my icing with gutter heat cable. I enabled the economy jumber to disable heat strips except in defrost. Disconnected WE and swapped W1 and W2 to disable heat strips called by thermostat when +2 is flashing and this runs 2 heat strips in defrost to keep register temp @72. Primary starter relay stuck and burned out the starter winding in the primary compressor 4 weeks ago, Hallowell won't answer and my dealer/installer won't even talk to me anymore, I even bought his extended warranty, what a sucker huh? I have filed complaints with bbb and PA Atty General, I am very interested in taking action before it is too late. Did you see this:
email me at

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New Company?
Feb 10, 2011 12:53PM PST

What new company? You're dreaming. Hallowell was sued by Nyle for patent infringement. Settlement details are confidential but Hallowell had to pay Nyle, hasn't sold any units since. Sounds like Hallowell stole Nyle's design and got a cease and desist order. No one can buy him, it wasn't his in the first place! Now I see someone is saying he isn't even an engineer, no degrees, no morals. Even Bangor Maine wants their money back! Check out

Hey what do I know, I would have been better off heating my house by burning the $13k I wasted!

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Feb 24, 2011 3:46AM PST

I figured I would clear this up a little for you as you seem to be misguided on this.

Nyle was not who had the patent on this product. An engineer from Carrier is who came up with what you now know as the Acadia unit. He originally "leased" it to Nyle with certain condition, one of them dealing with distribution. Nyle then screwed that up and so the engineer pulled the patent from Nyle and then made a similar agreement with Dwayne.

Hallowell has stopped producing the units because they lost their investors, one being the city of Bangor.

Nobody stole anything from Nyle.

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need info
Jan 28, 2011 12:00AM PST

Please email I too am in Ma and having the same issue

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Hallowell Icing
Feb 10, 2011 12:45PM PST

I don't understand why no one can fix the icing. The water is refreezing before it can get out of the cabinet during defrost, then it backs up. I installed gutter heat cable around the bottom of the inside of the coil, then around the outside bottom but still inside the grill, then outside the grill on the bottom, then under the lip under the drain holes, then across the bottom platform. I used 2 30' gutter heat cables, they cant use much juice. It worked perfectly this year, absolutely no ice build up during weeks of temps in the teens constantly. It was great until my compressor blew, now no one will even talk to me. Hallowell is no more and my dealer won't even honor the extended warranty he sold me. Good luck. Check out

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Failed Acadia Heat pump
Feb 11, 2011 11:51PM PST

Good morning I am also one those customers that have a failed Acadia system. I was wondering if I can reach Matthew Haydinger from ARC, I am looking for a support group regarding these issues with the Hallowell ACADIA system. My unit has been down since October 2010 with a failed compressor.

My installer came to install a new compressor and after reviewing the instructions sent by Hallowell to complete the installation he pulled the plug due to high labor cost of a major tear down of the system and additional equipment $1600 to $1800. Law suite Yes I'm game.

Need help

Best regards

Steve Brian

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Acadia design flaw?
Feb 12, 2011 1:27AM PST

This appears to be yet another design flaw of the Acadia system. You should not have to wrap a gutter heat cable around your 9K heat pump to stop ice from building up. I've had to go out and thaw our Acadia out around the bottom two times so far this winter. This shouldn't be happening to a product that's been advertised as an all-weather heating system. Another design flaw would seem to be making the compressor(s) so difficult to change out that it costs almost 2K to do in the field (see post from SBrian56). The Acadia was not designed properly and now that Acadia is not even fulfilling their warranty, when it breaks down it becomes a very expensive pedestal for a bird bath. Unfortunately, I don't think Hallowell has any assets, so the best that could happen would be to put someone behind bars for robbing us all of our hard earned money.