With the fall season sneaking up, this is the time of year when most homeowners start testing their heating systems to be sure that they are going to work well when the weather gets colder. In most situations, you can turn on your heating system and all is well. However, what happens if you turn on your heat pump and it starts hissing at you? Here's a look at what you need to know.
Is Hissing A Big Deal If You Still Get Heat?
You might think that you don't need to worry too much about that noise if your heat pump is still producing heat and keeping your home warm. The truth is that the hissing noise could be problematic even if the heat pump is still working. Just because it's working now doesn't mean it's going to continue to do so if you ignore a problem and don't seek repairs in a timely manner.
What Causes Heat Pump Hissing?
There are a few potential causes for your heat pump system to be making a hissing noise.
Air duct leaks: The first, and sometimes easiest to address, is a leak in your air ducts. In that case, while you think the noise is coming from your heat pump, it's actually coming from the leaking air duct. You should repair a leaky air duct right away. Leaving it the way that it is could lead to the problem worsening over time. In addition, when your air ducts are leaking, you're losing warm air. This leaking costs you extra unnecessary energy costs to try to compensate for that lost air.
Refrigerant leaks: Your heat pump may also be hissing due to a refrigerant leak. If you are hearing the hissing noise near your outdoor heat pump unit, a refrigerant leak is the likely culprit. This is problematic for a few reasons. First, the refrigerant system is a high-pressure system. That means that even a small leak leads to significant refrigerant loss. This issue causes your system to be much less efficient, costing you more to heat your home. In addition, running a heat pump when it is low on refrigerant can actually damage the pump. Any further damage to the pump means more costly repairs.
The sooner you address a hissing noise from your heating system, the easier the repairs are likely to be. Contact a heating repair technician near you today for more information.