What myth is this? The one that says your heat pump needs a refrigerant refill—what those of us in the industry call a recharge—on a routine basis. The fact is, your heat pump should ideally never need a refrigerant recharge!
We understand how you might have come to this conclusion. You may have been told a few times by other HVAC “pros” that this is an easy fix. The thing is, not only is this literally not an easy fix due to the limited resources of older refrigerant types, but it’s a “fix” you’re paying for over and over and not actually resolving anything. Read on to learn more!
You’ll Never Run Out of Refrigerant
Your heat pump system will never “run out” of refrigerant—unless something is wrong with said heat pump and you’re experiencing a refrigerant leak. Despite what too many homeowners believe, refrigerant is not a fuel for your heat pump to burn through like gasoline to a car—it is not something that gets “used up.”
“So, What’s the Function of Refrigerant?”
As refrigerant changes from a liquid to gas and back, it absorbs and releases heat in the meantime. This is how it’s capable of both heating and cooling your home.
You see, what happens is that the compressor changes liquid refrigerant into a high-pressure, high-temperature gas.
Then the refrigerant transfers to another coil to release heat through condensation. The heat pump system is different from a standard air conditioner, in that it can reverse the flow of refrigerant to provide you with year-round comfort, so this refrigerant cycle is very important!
If You’re Losing Refrigerant, You Have a Leak
The only time you’ll ever deal with a low charge of refrigerant is when there is a leak somewhere in the system. Then and only then will you “run out” of this important fluid.
A refrigerant leak isn’t something to ever take lightly, as it can lead to a number of subsequent problems. If you aren’t careful, you could find yourself dealing with a full system breakdown, which is definitely not something you want. Therefore, it’s vital that you’re aware of the signs that suggest you have a leak:
- Low cooling output
- Liquid coming from the system
- Strange hissing sounds
Contact Our Pros for Professional Repairs!
If you’re dealing with a refrigerant leak in your heat pump, it’s important that you reach out to a trained and experienced HVAC professional for AC repair ASAP. Only a pro has the tools, expertise, and training to accurately pinpoint the source of the leak, and repair it accordingly. In addition, your technician will be able to recharge the system so you’ve got the appropriate refrigerant levels once again.
Don’t let an amateur or a misleading HVAC “pro” tell you that routine refrigerant refills are a thing—they may be willing to do it at an “affordable price” but if they’re coming back year after year to do it, they aren’t saving you any money!