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Understanding Refrigerant Refills in Air Source Heat Pumps

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Maintaining the Lifeline: Understanding Refrigerant Refills in Air Source Heat Pumps

Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHPs) are packed with a lot of mechanical marvel, part of which lies in their ability to transfer heat from one environment to another. A crucial agent of this process is the refrigerant. In this blog post, we delve into the important aspects of refrigerant management in ASHPs, including how often a refrigerant refill is necessary.

What is a Refrigerant?

The system's refrigerant is a special fluid that changes from a liquid to a gas and back as it circulates through the heat pump. Its primary function is to absorb and release heat, making it instrumental in both cooling and heating modes of the ASHP.

Refrigerant Management in ASHPs

When it comes to maintaining or replacing the refrigerant, there are some key points to remember:

Refrigerants are Circulated, Not Consumed

Contrary to popular belief, refrigerant in a heat pump isn't consumed during the process of heat transfer. Instead, it's continuously circulated within the closed-loop system. This means that in a flawlessly running system, the refrigerant should last as long as the heat pump itself, which can be up to 15-20 years.

Top-ups are Needed Only if There’s a Leak

If your heat pump isn't providing sufficient heating or cooling or is consuming more energy than it usually does, one possible cause could be a refrigerant leak. In such a case, a refill or 'top-up' will be necessary. It's important to get any such issues professionally diagnosed as the presence of a leak might indicate other potential problems.

Regular Professional Check-ups are Crucial

While ASHPs don't typically require annual refrigerant refills, regular professional servicing is recommended to ensure optimal functioning. These check-ups will include inspections for potential leaks and refrigerant level monitoring so that any issues can be detected and remedied early on.


Remember, while your ASHP is designed to operate flawlessly over many years, regular professional maintenance ensures that the system runs efficiently, and any potential refrigerant leaks are promptly detected and rectified. This routine oversight is the key to getting the best out of your ASHP and maintaining its efficiency for the long haul.

Knowing more about your heat pump's refrigerant — how it works, how long it lasts, and when it might need to be replenished — can go a long way toward ensuring your system’s longevity and your comfort in all seasons.

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