4 Signs Your Heat Pump is Leaking Refrigerant


Even though heat pumps can be used to heat the water for your home, they still need refrigerant in order to work properly. That refrigerant should stay in a closed-loop system, where it will be subject to changes in pressure and temperature to warm or cool the system. However, it's not unknown for a heat pump to start leaking coolant.

It's a problem that you'll want to address as soon as possible to avoid more expensive repairs, so here are four common signs to keep your eye out for.

1. Build-Up of Frost

One of the most obvious signs that your heat pump is low on refrigerant is sometimes known as 'icing' or 'frosting'; essentially, a build-up of frost across the outside. This is a sign that cool air isn't being generated, which almost certainly indicates a lack of refrigerant. Some people simply scrape off any frost they notice and then ignore the problem. Unfortunately, this doesn't solve anything since the refrigerant will still need to be replaced. Additionally, the moisture can cause internal damage if that frost is allowed to melt.

2. Increased Energy Consumption

If you start to notice that your monthly energy bills are increasingly, it's likely that something is wrong with your hot water system. If you have a heat pump, it could be that there isn't enough refrigerant in the system. With less refrigerant, the heat pump will need to work a lot harder to provide heat, especially if frost forms inside. When a heat pump needs to work harder, it also needs to consume more energy.

3. Odd Noises

Any odd noises emanating from your heat pump should be considering cause for concern. If a lack of refrigerant is the culprit, you may occasionally hear an odd gurgling sound. This is due to the fact that air will leak in when refrigerant leaks out, and those trapped air bubbles will make a gurgling sound during operation. At this point, your heat pump is probably very low on refrigerant, so don't delay in contacting a professional.

4. Pooling Liquid

Finally, make sure you check around the heat pump once in a while. Refrigerant will evaporate reasonably quickly, and a leak could show more as an occasional drip rather than a steady gush. Just look under the pump every now and then to see if any liquid is dripping or pooling underneath. If so, make sure the leak is fixed and the refrigerant recharged.


15 September 2017

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