First, take a deep breath. Your heat pump is almost certainly not on fire. In fact, it’s probably working just the way it’s supposed to.
If this is the first winter you’ve used a heat pump to provide comfort to your home, then we’re not surprised that you might find this sight alarming. A heat pump works similarly to an air conditioner, and if you see smoke coming off your air conditioning system’s outdoor unit, that’s a big problem, likely some kind of electrical fire. This is extremely rare, but not impossible.
However, that “smoke” you see rising from your heat pump isn’t smoke at all, as we’ll explain.