Refrigerant is a vitally important but dangerous substance. Without it, heat pumps cannot perform heat exchange and therefore can neither heat nor cool your Boulder, MT home. Since refrigerant leaks can have serious consequences for both your safety and the functioning of your heat pump, you should learn to recognize the signs of a leak.
1. A Sweet, Ether-Like Smell
The first and generally most reliable way to tell whether there’s been a refrigerant leak is to use your nose. Refrigerant typically either smells sweet or has an odor reminiscent of either chloroform or ether. As soon as you detect this smell in the vicinity of your heat pump, you should call an HVAC technician right away and schedule either repair or maintenance services in order to plug the leak and safely restore the refrigerant you’ve lost.
2. A Leaky Heat Pump
If your nose fails to provide you with clues about a possible leak, use your eyes. Often enough, an indicator of a refrigerant leak is that your heat pump starts to leak liquid, which then pools in the immediate area. Depending on which portion of its operational cycle the heat pump is on, refrigerant may be in either liquid or gas form.
3. Diminished Efficiency and Higher Utility Bills
As mentioned, refrigerant is essential to a heat pump’s heat exchange process, meaning that without adequate levels of refrigerant, the system will neither be able to heat nor cool your home well. Your utility bill will increase in tandem with this drop in effectiveness because the heat pump will use more energy to try and replicate past performance.
We can’t emphasize enough that you should never try to replenish lost refrigerant on your own. If you live near Boulder, MT and have a heat pump with a refrigerant leak, call Superior Heating & Cooling, Inc., and schedule an appointment with our HVAC technicians for some high-quality service.
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