It’s that time again, when summer is getting into full swing and homeowners are busy making sure that their climate control systems can keep them cool throughout the season. One of the most common questions we get during this time is whether or not heat pumps need to be refilled with refrigerant before the summer starts. Let’s take a look at what refrigerant is, how it interacts with your heat pump, and the only time you’ll ever need to refill it.
What is Refrigerant?
Refrigerant is not a single fluid, but rather a term that covers all kinds of heat transfer fluids. Your heat pump contains a certain charge of one of these fluids, and uses it to move heat back and forth between the home and the outside environment. When in cooling mode, the system evaporates refrigerant to absorb heat from the inside air. It then sends the refrigerant gas to the outside unit, where it is condensed to release the collected heat outside of the home. In heating mode, the direction of the refrigerant is simply reversed. Heat pumps don’t consume refrigerant, but recycle it between liquid and gaseous states during operation. The initial charge of refrigerant the system gets upon installation should be enough to last for its entire life.
When to Refill Refrigerant
The only time you need to refill the refrigerant in your system is when a leak develops in the refrigerant line. A refrigerant leak will drain the heat pump, causing a slow decline in output culminating in a full system breakdown. If you ever see liquid dripping from your heat pump, you should call for repairs right away. The leak will need to be patched, and the lost refrigerant refilled, to protect the heat pump.
SPS Mechanical, Inc. offers comprehensive heat pump repair services throughout Haddonfield, NJ.