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Schaal Plumbing, Heating and Cooling Blog

Does My Heat Pump Have a Refrigerant Leak?

temperature-guageThe heat pump really is a great HVAC system, which you are obviously aware of if you use one on your property. The ability to both cool your home and very efficiently heat it is a great benefit. Of course, as unique as the heat pump and its operation may be, there is one way in which it is just like any other HVAC system. It will eventually require repairs! Routine maintenance will keep them to a minimum, but you’ll run into trouble eventually.

If and when you do, you need to contact the professionals on our team right away. Prompt AC and/or heating repair in Ankeny, IA is always going to be in your best interest. The longer that you put off any necessary heat pump repairs, the worse off your system is likely to be. One problem that you may encounter is a refrigerant leak, and this is quite a doozy. If you do have a refrigerant leak, you could do serious damage to your heat pump by continuing to force it to run.

What Does Refrigerant Do?

Refrigerant acts as the heat transfer fluid in your heat pump (or a central AC, for that matter). Refrigerant is able to transfer between states with ease, which allows it to go from a gas to a liquid and back again. This is important for the heat transfer process.

When your heat pump cools your home, refrigerant evaporates in the indoor evaporator coil. This allows it to draw heat out of the air in your home. When it is in its heating mode, the heat pump evaporates refrigerant in the outdoor coil. That allows it to draw heat out of the air outside. Once it’s done so, the compressor boosts its thermal energy, and it travels inside to be condensed.  That is how a heat pump is able to heat air in the house.

Because refrigerant plays such a vital role in the operation of your heat pump, any issues relating to refrigerant, such as a low charge or leaks, are serious problems. Learning to spot the signs of leaks is important if you want to be sure that your heat pump is protected.

Signs of Refrigerant Leaks

One classic sign of a refrigerant leak is ice on the coils. Now, you have to be careful with a heat pump, because ice developing on the outdoor unit is actually normal. Your heat pump is equipped with a defrost cycle to deal with it, in fact. If the outdoor unit is really encased in ice, though, then you probably have a problem on your hands.

You may even hear refrigerant hissing out of the unit, as this pressurized gas makes its escape. Maybe you just notice that your system is struggling to keep up and is running for longer and longer periods of time. Whatever the case may be, you need to have your leak repaired and your refrigerant charged to the appropriate level as soon as possible.

Schedule your heating repairs with Schaal Heating and Cooling.

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