Can My Geothermal System Start Leaking?

When you have a geothermal heating and cooling system installed in your home, you make a great stride in providing energy-efficient comfort and “going green.” A geothermal system operates with very few greenhouse gas emissions and manages a stability and efficiency that an air-source heat pump cannot match.

Geothermal systems require an extensive amount of work to install, with the coils that transport the refrigerant through the earth buried 6 to 10 feet below the ground around your home. This causes some concern among homeowners using geothermal heating and cooling: can the system begin to leak?

The answer is “yes.” To which we must quickly add: “Don’t worry—there’s help!” If your geothermal system repaired in Hebron, contact Greater Comfort Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc.® 24 hours a day for professional, thorough assistance.

Leaking in a geothermal system

The thing to keep in mind about geothermal systems is that they are heat pumps: they use energy to move heat from one location and place it in another. Where the “standard” heat pump uses the air as its exchange medium, a geothermal heat pump uses the earth. This is known as a “ground-source heat pump.” Just as air-source heat pumps can develop refrigerant leaks, so can a ground-source heat pump. These leaks not only threaten your system’s operation, they can damage the environment.

This presents a problem: if the leaks occur underground, how can you tell your system has started leaking?

The main warning sign of refrigerant leaks is the appearance of icing along the coils of the above-ground unit when in cooling mode. This usually means a drop in the refrigerant’s charge (the amount in the system) that causes the coil to lose its ability to effectively absorb heat during evaporation. In heating mode, if your heat pump begins to struggle to reach its proper level of heating—which, unlike an air-source heat pump, should not happen no matter the outdoor temperature—you may also have a leaking issue.

If you suspect a leak in a geothermal heat pump, call for professional repairs. The technicians can add a dye into the refrigerant that will help them identify the location of the leak, then dig down to the leaking line, seal it, and recharge the refrigerant to its proper levels.

Professionals must handle repairs to geothermal systems, since reaching the lines requires careful digging, and recharging the refrigerant also needs special skills. If your geothermal heat pump exhibits unusual and faulty behavior, only call in licensed experts to handle it.

Greater Comfort Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc.® has experience installing, maintaining, and repairing Hebron, KY geothermal systems. Don’t grab a shovel; grab the phone instead and give us a call when your geothermal heat pump stops doing its job.