Monday, April 8, 2019

Dangers of Refrigerant Leaks in Winter

hvac system

Homes and businesses throughout the country rely on heat pumps to keep indoor spaces warm throughout the winter months. These systems use refrigerant in the heating process – as it converts between liquid and gas through the stages of the system, it transfers heat between your interiors and the outdoors or ground source. While refrigerant leaks are typically associated with cooling issues, a refrigerant leak in your heat pump during the winter is a dangerous problem.

Winter Refrigerant Leaks

A leaking refrigerant line in your heat pump during the winter can pose devastating consequences for the safety of occupants as well as your heating system.

Dangers of Winter Refrigerant Leaks Indoors

When heat pumps lose refrigerant during the winter, they will not be able to adequately heat your home or workspace. A potentially serious problem that results is a lack of heat inside. When outdoor temperatures are extreme, a lack of heat indoors can be a dangerous problem. Warmth is not only important for comfort, but also for safety during the winter months.
Many homes and businesses with heat pumps also have an auxiliary, or backup, heating system that can be utilized when the heat pump is malfunctioning, or in conditions where the heat pump isn’t operating efficiently, such as extreme cold. If your heat pump isn’t keeping your living areas warm due to a refrigerant leak, switch over to the auxiliary heating system using your thermostat – select the ‘emergency’ or ‘backup’ heat setting.
If you do not have a backup heating system, it is important that you have winter heat pump refrigerant leaks repaired right away. A skilled heating repair contractor makes repairs to eliminate the leak and recharges the system, allowing the heat pump to function properly and restore warmth indoors.

Dangers of Winter Refrigerant Leaks to Your Heat Pump

Low refrigerant levels in your heat pump during the winter makes it more difficult for the system to adequately heat your interior spaces. Heat pumps are made to operate with a specific refrigerant charge – if refrigerant levels drop, serious malfunctions can occur. The heat pump may freeze over or the compressor easily overheat. These issues can cause damage to your system, requiring heat pump repair or even replacement.

Signs of Winter Refrigerant Leaks

Refrigerant leaks in a heat pump during the winter aren’t always easy for a user to identify. As low refrigerant levels in your heat pump during winter is a serious problem, quick repairs are needed. Watch for the following signs that could indicate a refrigerant leak somewhere in the system:

  • Lower heat output
  • Can’t keep indoor areas warm enough using the heat pump
  • Hissing sound coming from the heat pump
  • Ice on the heat pump’s coils


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