A refrigerant leak can drastically reduce your heat pump’s performance, which is why it should be fixed as soon as possible. That’s because refrigerant—the fluid that absorbs and transfers heat from outdoor air—isn’t something that’s used up by your heat pump. Rather, it’s recycled over and over again, similar to how a car uses oil.
How can you tell if your heat pump has a refrigerant leak? The residential AC contractors at Air Products & Services lists the warning signs in this guide:
Ice on the evaporator coil. Without enough refrigerant, your heat pump’s evaporator coil won’t be able to absorb heat from outdoor air efficiently. If the evaporator coil’s ability to transfer heat is hindered, the moisture on the coil may freeze, forming ice. Note that simply scraping the ice off the coil won’t be enough to improve your heat pump’s performance; the source of the leak needs to be sealed to restore your heat pump’s efficiency.
Higher heating or cooling costs. To compensate for low refrigerant levels, the compressor may need to consume more electricity. The added strain on the compressor and other components can also cause your heat pump to break down.
Short-cycling. The added strain may also cause certain components to overheat, forcing your heat pump to run for shorter periods of time.
Preventing refrigerant leaks. What’s the usual reason behind refrigerant leaks? Wear and tear is a common factor, but in most cases, infrequent maintenance is the main culprit. That’s why it’s important to have a residential and commercial AC maintenance technician inspect your heat pump at least once a year.
Do you suspect your heat pump has a refrigerant leak?
Air Products & Services, a company with more than four decades of experience, offers professional HVAC repair and air conditioning installation services. To schedule an inspection, call us at (818) 989-2030 or fill out this form. We serve homeowners in Tarzana, CA, as well as the surrounding communities.