Charging a heat pump means that you restore the refrigerant in the system to the correct level. Without adequate refrigerant, the heat pump cannot transfer heat energy effectively. How to charge a heat pump in cold weather requires defrosting the outside unit first.
However, handling refrigerant is not a job for anyone except a licensed technician. The Environmental Protection Agency only authorizes certified individuals to work with refrigerants. As a homeowner, you can do a few things to diagnose your problem as well as preventative maintenance.
No tools are needed.
Diagnosing Heat Pump Charge Problems
Your heat pump only needs a new charge if a leak has developed somewhere in its refrigerant lines. Manufacturers make the machine to perform properly for over a decade with proper maintenance.
Your unit may be damaged and leaking refrigerant if:
- Your power bill has inexplicably gone up.
- Frost or ice persists on the exterior coil after running defrost cycle.
- The heat pump freezes completely.
- You see drips or pools of liquid.
- You hear gurgling sounds when the machine operates.
- Heat pump fails to warm the room.
Sometimes other problems freeze the coils. A clogged air filter or failed thermostat could be responsible. If a new air filter does not help, then you would want a technician from Oliver to diagnose the unit.
How to Charge a Heat Pump in Cold Weather
- A licensed technician trained in refrigerant use begins by assessing the unit’s airflow.
- If the coils are frozen, the technician will defrost the coils.
- A dirty unit will require cleaning so that the inspection can continue.
- The technician goes through each part of the unit, checking line connections, blower parts, and filter.
- Because of the cold weather, the technician will work with the unit in heating mode.
- Directions from the unit’s manufacturer must be consulted to determine proper procedures.
- After replacing a leaking part, the technician must add refrigerant until it reaches its necessary operational pressure.
How You Can Reduce Strain on a Heat Pump
Like all mechanical equipment, good maintenance reduces the incidence of breakdowns or leaks. As the homeowner, you should replace the air filter monthly if you are using it regularly.
On the outside, keep yard debris and snow cleared away from the unit. Material around the external unit interferes with the exchange of heat energy. Ideally, you’ll have your heat pump inspected every spring and fall. A maintenance inspection from Oliver can extend the operational life of your heat pump.
Trust Oliver for Safe Refrigerant Handling
The toxicity of refrigerant demands that great care is taken when charging a heat pump. Heat pump repairs completed by an experienced Oliver technician ensure safety at your home. We are trained to use these materials and prevent exposure to ourselves and the people in your home. Contact us immediately if you think that your heat pump has lost its refrigerant charge. Set up a service call with Oliver today 1-888-810-2681.