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A heat pump, like a refrigerator, requires refrigerant to function effectively. Refrigerant is a substance that a heat pump utilizes to both cool and heat your house in the summer and winter. If you’re like most Dover, DE residents, you’re probably unaware of how to monitor the refrigerant levels in your heating and cooling system, so here are six signs your system is running out of this important substance.

1. Hissing and Gurgling Sounds

Your heat pump uses pressure to transfer refrigerant from one component to another. This pressure can make a hissing sound when there is a leak. Therefore, hissing indicates that you’ve got a refrigerant problem.

Gurgling sounds are another indication of a low refrigerant level in your heat pump. This noise usually occurs when air bubbles become stuck in the refrigerant tube.

2. Frozen Evaporator Coils

If your outdoor unit is covered in ice, you may have a refrigerant leak. The evaporator coils absorb heat, but they can only do so with the proper quantity of refrigerant.

Your evaporator coil can freeze if it’s unable to receive enough heat. This could occur as a result of malfunctioning components, including a broken reversing valve.

3. Water Leaks

You should also keep a lookout for water leakage from your heating and cooling system. The melting ice on the evaporator coil causes this issue. In fact, it’s usually a dead giveaway that your heat pump has a refrigerant leak.

4. Insufficient Heating

Another major indicator of an issue with your heat pump is an inability to keep your interior spaces sufficiently warm. There are numerous factors that can contribute to this. However, one possibility is that your refrigerant is leaking.

When this occurs, your heating system may try to compensate for the absence of warmth by utilizing auxiliary heating more frequently. This is only meant to happen when the outside temps fall below freezing.

If your auxiliary heating turns on every time you switch on your system, it’s a surefire sign that something’s wrong. The same applies if the auxiliary heating runs for more than 30 minutes. Both of these problems could be the result of a refrigerant discharge in your heating system.

5. Increased Cooling Periods

When your heat pump leaks refrigerant, it must work harder to maintain the same temps. That means it’ll take even longer to cool your home.

The air that comes out of the vents must be as cold as the setting you assign on your thermostat. If the air isn’t as chilly as it ought to be, this could be another indication of a refrigerant leak.

6. Higher-Than-Usual Utility Bills

Refrigerant leakage pushes your system to operate harder than usual. Because your HVAC equipment isn’t running as effectively, your energy costs will likely rise. The best thing you can do is reach out to an experienced HVAC company to repair the leak and perform a complete inspection.

Understanding Refrigerant

Refrigerant is a medium for transferring heat. It comprises an array of compounds that enable it to transform from a liquid to a gas. This characteristic aids the refrigerant in absorbing the heat through evaporation and then releasing it through condensation.

Refrigerant enables your heat pump to move heat from within your home to the outside and vice versa. It’s not a source of energy; instead, it transfers energy. That’s why you shouldn’t ever have to add more to your system unless you have a leak.

Professional HVAC technicians understand how to repair refrigerant leaks and add the correct quantity. Under no circumstances should you try fixing a refrigerant leak yourself! If you encounter any of the above signs, reach out to the skilled HVAC service technicians at Griffith Energy Services. For more decades than we can count, our veteran team has resolved problem after problem related to heat pumps, including refrigerant leaks.

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