A refrigerant leak is a very bad thing for your air conditioning system. When you have a refrigerant leak a number of problems will occur. It is important for a homeowner to know how the air conditioner uses and relies on the refrigerant, and how to detect a leak when they occur. Absolute P&M Services will share what homeowners need to know about refrigerant leaks and how to spot them if and when they occur.
What is Refrigerant?
One of the first misconceptions about refrigerant is that it is a type of fuel. Fuel is a substance that gets burned or used up, while refrigerant is recycled and reused. As long as the air conditioner never develops a refrigerant leak, the air conditioner may never need to be recharged with refrigerant during the life of the air conditioner. The refrigerant is constantly turning from a liquid, into a gas, and then back into a liquid state. When the refrigerant turns into a gas, the refrigerant in its gas state helps to remove the heat from the air. The refrigerant is a key element for creating cool air. The fuel source for an air conditioner would be the electricity and not the refrigerant.
What Happens if Refrigerant is Low?
Each type of air conditioner will have its own set charge or refrigerant level, and when the refrigerant level drops below its needed operating limits, the air conditioner will be at risk. When the refrigerant level drops due to a leak, the first major problem is that the home will not cool down and will slowly heat up. When the home fails to drop in temperature, the thermostat will continue to run more and more cycles. The air conditioner will run more often which will cause your power bill to be very high. Additionally, the air conditioner will eventually overheat which can lead to component failure. To avoid wearing your air conditioner’s components down which leads to expensive repair or paying for an outrageous power bill, it is important to seek an air conditioner repair service to repair the leak and recharge the refrigerant.
How Do I Know if My AC is Leaking Refrigerant?
Often a refrigerant leak will provide some obvious clues. First the home will fail to cool down. You may notice the air conditioner is running but you will only feel warm air blowing through the air vents. Another classic sign that there is a leak is when ice forms on the evaporator coils. Ice forms on the evaporator coils when there isn’t enough refrigerant. When there isn’t enough refrigerant the evaporator coils cannot absorb the heat which allows them to get very cold to the point the condensation freezes on the evaporator coils. Sometimes when the leak first occurs, you may hear the refrigerant leaking out. If you are hearing a hissing like noise you are losing refrigerant through a small hole or opening.
Central Air Conditioner Maintenance, Repairs, Replacement & More in Santa Fe, Tomball, Sugar Land, Galveston, Austin & Greater Houston, Texas
If you detect any of these signs or symptoms of a refrigerant leak you will need to seek professional repair immediately. The most common cause of AC refrigerant leaks is erosion of the metal over time. Only a professional HVAC technician can recharge refrigerant or repair other problems such as erosion at the source. Additionally, we know where to look for the leak. For HVAC services, contact Absolute P&M Services today.