Refrigerant is used by heat pumps to move heat from within your house to the outside. Refrigerant might leak out of the system if refrigerant pipes are broken. To replenish the appropriate amount of refrigerant for the heat pump to work at its best, it must be recharged.
A heat pump or HVAC system should only be charged by a licensed HVAC technician. One of two techniques—superheating or subcooling—will be used by the tech. Subcooling is typically the favored technique, however the answer will vary depending on the kind of indoor metering system.
While the heat pump is offline for maintenance, the auxiliary heating system will function to keep the house from getting too chilly.
Signs Of A Low Refrigerant Level In A Heat Pump
There are three main indications that your heat pump requires a recharge. Indicators of a low refrigerant level in a heat pump include the following:
- A heat pump with a leak. Your system’s refrigerant should last as long as the entire apparatus. Unless it develops a leak, that is. You may be low on refrigerant if liquid is seen escaping from the system, usually near connecting points.
- Unmoving unit. Call an HVAC expert if the heat pump evaporator coil is iced over. Note that this can also happen in the heat, indicating that a charge is required.
- Terrible performance. Does it feel colder (or warmer) in your house than it should?
A refrigerant charge is required if a unit works continuously but is unable to maintain the specified temperature.
Ask the technician to check your unit’s airflow before charging the refrigerant when they arrive. Even with the correct charge, the unit won’t function properly if the airflow is incorrect.
When Refrigerant Should Be Added To Heat Pump
Your heat pump should function effectively for 10 to 20 years with routine maintenance. Unless a leak is found, the refrigerant in your unit shouldn’t need to be charged or “filled off.”
- It’s recommended to undertake heat pump maintenance twice a year, in the spring and the fall. Technicians will identify minor problems before they develop into significant system problems.
- You can maintain your heat pump functioning optimally between expert inspections by following these easy maintenance recommendations for homeowners:
- Remove any snow and ice accumulation. Air from outside is necessary for the heat pump. The heat pump will have to work harder than necessary if anything blocks that air flow.
- Clear the outdoor unit of any leaves, sticks, or other debris. Shrubs should be placed at least 18 inches away from heat pumps.
- Once a month, or more frequently as needed, clean or replace your filters.
- Make sure that each register is open.
- When exterior coils start to look filthy, spray them down with foam.
- During the heating season, keep the thermostat set at a temperature higher than 65.
- During the cooling season, keep the thermostat set at or below 70 degrees.
Process Of Charging At Low Temperatures
- The condenser will have a plastic sheet covering it to prevent the air inside the system from escaping.
- The 4-way reversing valve is used to change the heat pump’s mode from heating to cooling. Its low voltage line needs to be taken out in order to accomplish this. This is due to the fact that the thermostat will still want heat, which it may now get thanks to the auxiliary heating system. Once everything is set up, your house will stay warm even if the heat pump isn’t running.
- Bleeding air from the lines is necessary to recover the refrigerant vapor that has accumulated in the refrigerant lines.
- A refrigerant cylinder will be attached to the gauge lines and turned upside down in order to collect this refrigerant. The manifold valve can be opened and the refrigerant liquid retrieved once this configuration has been established.
DIY Or Hire A Professional For The Heat Pump Charge?
A heat pump’s refrigerant needs to be inspected and charged, which is not a DIY project. Any time a cooling system’s coolant needs to be recharged, a licensed HVAC technician must handle the task.
Maintain a regular schedule for heat pump maintenance and have an expert inspect the device twice a year. A warm home in the winter and a cool place in the summer will result from maintaining your unit.