Assessing the performance of the air conditioner is upon us. As we embark on another summer, having the air conditioner ready to perform at full efficiency is ideal. Early detection on different issues can be ideal to avoid major problems and a common issue many people experience is refrigerant leaks. Refrigerant is not an agent that gets used up. The only way your unit loses refrigerant is when there is a leak present. With that in mind, we at Air Supply Heating and Air Conditioning would like to discuss refrigerant leaks.
Freon or Refrigerant Leak Repair
The lines that contain refrigerant degrade over time and the air conditioner’s refrigerant levels are always under high pressure. The source of the leak will need to be patched and your refrigerant will need to be recharged in the event that your system is experiencing a refrigerant leak. Recharging your system can be an expensive repair, depending on the extent of the leak.
Refrigerant Leak Detection: Pressure Test
With annual air conditioning tune-up service, maintenance and inspections, the professionals routinely perform pressure tests to catch issues such as refrigerant leaks at the early stages before the damage becomes excessive. If you can recognize the signs of a refrigerant leak in between professional services, you can avoid extensive damage as well.
Signs of an HVAC Refrigerant Leak
Below are the most common signs your air conditioner has sprung a refrigerant leak.
1) Increase in utility bills. You may see a red flag in your next power bill. Caused by low refrigerant is the inefficient cooling and longer cycles which also send your electric meter into overdrive.
2) Frozen evaporator coils. On your outdoor air conditioning unit is one of the most obvious signs of a refrigerant leak. When the hot weather blazes and you see frosty ice crystals forming on the evaporator coil, one of the likely suspects is low refrigerant.
3) Bubbling or hissing sounds. An additional sign of a significant refrigerant leak is hearing sounds like this coming from your outdoor unit while it isn’t running.
4) Insufficient cooling. A refrigerant leak is among the most common causes when the system suddenly can’t keep up during the hottest hours of the day.
5) Humidity in the indoor air. As air conditioners dehumidify, they remove warm air from indoor spaces. An air conditioner’s dehumidifying ability is just as compromised as its cooling ability when a refrigerant leak is present.
6) Abnormally long cooling cycles. The sound of air moving through your vents makes it easier to notice if cooling cycles are abnormally long especially since you might not always notice that your air conditioner is lagging a few degrees behind your thermostat setting. Another sign of a possible refrigerant leak is longer cooling cycles.
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Even a well-maintained system will spring a leak on a long enough timeline and some refrigerant leaks can result from environmental damage or overdue maintenance. Older air conditioners can be patched up once and function, but if the problem persists it may make more financial sense to replace the system. If you suspect a refrigerant leak, call Air Supply Heating and Air Conditioning and our technicians will evaluate the issue, find any leaks, repair, and recharge the unit.