We’re moving into spring now, but the winter weather is still here. Are you having trouble with your heater? You may notice that you have poor air quality, trouble getting your home warm enough, or that it is taking longer than usual for your heater to warm your home.
All these problems point to a common issue. Your heater might have a refrigerant leak. While it’s a common problem that occurs due to many reasons, it’s also one that can pose a threat.
What is Refrigerant in Heaters?
Refrigerant is a compound used in air conditioners and heaters. Also known as Freon or coolant, a typical HVAC system uses refrigerant to allow optimal temperatures in winter and summers. The refrigerant converts from liquid to gas and then to liquid again. This allows the HVAC system to heat or cool the room.
To ensure that your heater or air conditioner is working efficiently, it needs to maintain a certain refrigerant level.
Detecting a Refrigerant Leak
If you think your heater is not working up to its capacity, then you check for a refrigerant leak by looking for these indicators:
Optimal levels of refrigerant should be able to absorb heat from the atmosphere. A leaking refrigerant may prevent it from doing so. This may result in moisture on the evaporator coil, which may turn into ice. At this point, you should call in for an HVAC expert.
- Airflow near the Vents
A typical sign of a leak is that your airflow is diminishing. This is true for heaters and air conditioners. However, you’d want your heater to maintain a warm temperature in winters, which it may not be able to do because of low refrigerant levels .
- Rising Costs
You may also want to keep an eye on energy bills. If you detect your heater bill is significantly higher than before, it could be because the heater is working longer hours to produce warm air. This may be happening because there is a leak.
- Hissing Sound
The refrigerant escaping from the coils through holes can produce a hissing sound. This is a sign that the coolant is leaking.
Causes of a Refrigerant Leak
- Normal wear and tear
- Corrosion of copper circuit
- Age of the heater
Dangers of a Refrigerant Leak
If refrigerant leak gives way to significantly low levels of refrigerant, then your HVAC system may malfunction. It can freeze or heat up significantly. Both of these can be costly to manage. You may also end up needing to replace the HVAC system.
Refrigerant leaks are also harmful to your health. They can upset your respiratory system and may result in skin and eye irritation.
Make sure that you address this problem as soon as possible. It’s important that you trust a reliable team like ours. If you’re having a refrigerant leak during winter, then you’re likely running a hybrid heating and cooling system like a heat pump. Our team has the expertise to work on these systems.