Mini-splits are efficient appliances and great solutions to problems like when residents of one home disagree on what temperature the thermostat should be set to. As efficient as they are, however, they can start to malfunction just like any appliance can. One particular issue can create a chain reaction leading to other issues: a lack of refrigerant.

What Refrigerant Leaks and Low Levels Can Do

A refrigerant leak that isn't allowing enough refrigerant to stay in the system and cool the air passing by it means that the air the system blows out into your home won't be as cold as it should be. In other words, when the refrigerant starts to leak out, you're not going to get the cold air you want. And once the refrigerant is low, you won't even get the warm air you want because low refrigerant can cause the coils to ice up. Keeping a steady amount of refrigerant in the mini-split is essential.

The Refrigerant Should Last – and a Leak Is a Bad Sign

The refrigerant in a mini-split travels through a closed system. There are no refill points or open areas that could allow refrigerant to evaporate or naturally leave the system, which means (of course) that a lack of refrigerant in a mini-split is from either poor manufacturing – not enough refrigerant added when the system was fabricated – or a leak somewhere. Assuming nothing has damaged the mini-split system, the leak could be a sign that the system is beginning to age enough that you'll need to start considering a replacement. In the meantime, however, a repair company should be able to fix the leak and refill the refrigerant. That may be enough for you mini-split to live a long and productive life.

Repairs and Refilling Are Only a Start

However, when the leak is repaired and the refrigerant refilled to normal levels, the repair job isn't really yet done. This is a good time to have the entire mini-split system checked over to ensure there are no other leaks or problems starting. If there are, then you'll want the repair tech to fix those as soon as possible, if not right then and there.

Mini-split systems work well, but a refrigerant leak can send the system's operations spiraling. If you notice things don't seem as cool or as warm as you want them to be, call an HVAC mini-split repair company and have a tech inspect for leaks.