Tempstar TX 5300 iced up

I am at my parents home in Ky- it was in the 40's today, and I noticed the outdoor unit is covered with snow and ice. My dad tells me it is an issue here- others have the problem as well. I noticed the inside of the unit, including the pipes, are all covered with thick ice as well. Is this normal or should we look into 'de icing' it???
They said one day last week, the heat went off in the house, and the heating company came and cut a hole in the cold air return duct to the furnace and reset the fuse. Heat in the house is working fine at 73.
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Do you have a gas water heater in the vicinity of the furnace?
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On Sunday, January 25, 2015 at 12:44:02 AM UTC-5, Shelly Mc2 wrote:

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,

Yes, you have a problem. Your heat pump is supposed to detect that it is i cing up and clear it's self by running in reverse for a few minutes. It's called a defrost cycle. While it's doing that the outside fan should be of f and the inside air handler should be on resistive heat to compensate.
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