Is My Heat Pump Leaking Refrigerant?

chilly-manWith all of the heating and air conditioning systems available to homeowners today, it is totally understandable if you find yourself a bit flummoxed when it comes to deciding which one is right for you. If you are having a tough time making up your mind, though, we strongly recommend that you consider the use of a heat pump on your property. Using a heat pump in Raleigh, NC makes a lot of sense with our climate and has many benefits to offer.

As great as a heat pump can be, it is important to keep in mind that no HVAC system will ever be 100% reliable. At some point, you are going to find yourself in need of professional heat pump repairs. Learning to spot potential signs of trouble so that you can schedule prompt heat pump repairs is definitely well-worth your time. Timing is of the essence, after all, especially when it comes to more serious problems like refrigerant leaks.

What Does the Refrigerant Do?

If you want to understand why a refrigerant leak is such a big deal, then you really need to first understand what refrigerant actually does in the system at large. Refrigerant is the heat transfer fluid in a central AC and heat pumps, and it changes its physical states quite easily.

In the summer, the refrigerant evaporates in the indoor coil in order to remove heat from the air in the house. Then it is condensed outdoors, shedding the heat that it has collected. In the winter, the refrigerant draws heat out of the air outside, in the case of a heat pump, and releases that heat in the home after being compressed to boost its thermal energy.

If there is not enough refrigerant in the heat pump system, a number of problems can develop. We have some helpful tips to help you determine if you may have a refrigerant leak in your system.

  • Ice on the system. If you notice ice on the indoor coil in the summer, it could be due to a low refrigerant level making it difficult for the system to remove a sufficient amount of heat from the air outside. Ice may naturally develop on the outdoor unit in the winter, but the system’s defrost cycle should solve that problem.
  • Trouble hitting target temperatures. If your home never seems cool enough in the summer or has a chill in the air during the winter, then you may have a low refrigerant level. The system is struggling to gather the heat and transfer it successfully because it does not have enough refrigerant to work with.
  • Short cycling. If your refrigerant is low, the system may start to run in short bursts, which is known as short cycling. The system may start to overheat and will struggle with low refrigerant levels, straining to the point that it will shut down to protect the compressor. To prevent serious damage, have the problem resolved professionally ASAP!

Schedule your heat pump services with Ideal Services Heating & Cooling.

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