A close up of a heat pump with the words, "Why Is My Heat Pump Leaking?"

These days, many homes are equipped with heat pumps instead of more “traditional” heating/cooling units. Especially in milder climates, a heat pump can be a great option for heating a residential home because this versatile HVAC unit combines the functions of both a heater and an air conditioner.

Depending on the desired indoor temperature a heat pump can effectively move hot or cold air inside or outside of the home. While a properly maintained heat pump typically lasts for 10-15 years before needing replacement, regular care and maintenance are key to achieving this lifespan.

Like any type of HVAC unit, a heat pump can be prone to issues as it ages– particularly leaks. If your heat pump is leaking, there are a number of potential causes worth exploring.

Ice on the Coils

A lack of refrigerant can disrupt the all-important cooling process. When this happens, cold air can become trapped, which leads to ice forming on the coils themselves. As the ice melts, there may be a leak around the unit itself.

If you’re noticing a puddle of water around your heat pump along with ice formation on the heat pump’s coils, this is your most likely culprit. It is important to address these leaks as soon as possible as puddling water around your heat pump can cause further damage to the unit. It can also lead to unwanted mold and mildew growth.

Dirty Coil(s)

Your heat pump relies on clean coils for proper functioning, so if you haven’t had your evaporator coils cleaned recently, there’s a good chance that any leakage could be caused by dirty coils. When evaporator coils get dirty, the dirt can redirect the water to drip onto the ground rather than towards the intended condensate pan and drain. This can create puddling around the unit and affect the overall performance of your heat pump which is why it needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.

An experienced HVAC team can take the time to thoroughly clean your heat pump’s evaporator coils to ensure they’re in the best possible working order, thus avoiding leaks. This is something that can be done as part of your heat pump’s preventative maintenance or as part of a service call to address a heat pump that is already leaking due to dirty coils.

Clogged Drainage System

Heat pumps are designed with a condensate pan; the purpose of this pan is to collect the condensation that normally comes from the system through the drain line. Over time, however, these drainage systems can become clogged, which can cause water to build up and leak out.

If the condensate pan gets too full due to leaking water, the entire heat pump could receive a signal to shut down. Therefore, if you’re dealing with a leaky heat pump that won’t turn on, there’s a chance that this could be the cause. A trusted HVAC technician can remove the clog and empty the condensate pan which should get your heat pump back up and running in no time.

Cracked Overflow Pan

As part of their cooling process, heat pumps pull humidity out of the air to keep the inside of your home comfortable. This humidity collects onto the coils and then drips into the drain or condensate pan. However, if the pan itself is cracked or corroded, you can end up with water around the unit and on your floors.

An HVAC professional will need to diagnose a cracked or otherwise damaged overflow pan. The good news is that if a crack is found, the pan can be replaced relatively easily. The key is to detect this leak as early on as possible. Otherwise, you may end up with water damage to your home.

Prevent Heat Pump Leaks With Cote’s Mechanical, LLC

Unfortunately, heat pump leaks can occur at any time. When they do, they can lead to other problems like mold, mildew, and rot. The good news is that many of the most common causes of heat pump leaks can be avoided with regular HVAC maintenance.

An annual inspection and tune-up of your heat pump can go a long way. With these annual appointments, you can find and solve smaller problems before they turn into leaks or other more serious issues. Meanwhile, routine maintenance can help your heat pump run more efficiently while prolonging its lifespan, saving you money and headaches.

If you’re looking for an experienced and professional HVAC team that you can trust with your heat pump maintenance, repairs, and replacement, look no further than Cote’s Mechanical, LLC! With 24/7 service, we’re never more than a phone call away. Contact us to find out more about our residential heating and air conditioning services or to schedule your next service appointment!