Now is the time to ensure the air conditioner is operating at peak performance. Having the air conditioner ready to go once the warm temperatures are here to stay is a must. To avoid major problems, early detection on the various issues is ideal and one of the most frequent dilemmas that arise is when air conditioning units experience refrigerant leaks. Unlike oil or gas in a vehicle, refrigerant is not a substance that diminishes as it is used. It continues a cycle within the air conditioner to produce cool air and if the unit is short on refrigerant, it indicates that there is a leak. We at Ambient Heating and Air Conditioning would like to expound on refrigerant leaks for a clearer understanding.
AC Tune Up Maintenance
The tubing the refrigerant travels through deteriorates over time and is continually under high pressure. If a leak occurs, a professional will locate the source of the leak, seal it up, and recharge the refrigerant according to the air conditioner’s capacity. This can be a fairly expensive repair depending on the extent of the leak. Catching problems in the early stages, like refrigerant leaks, is easily done when you routinely schedule professional annual air conditioning tune-up service, maintenance and inspections throughout the year. You can avoid extensive repair and higher costs by repairing the minor problems. You can also avoid excessive refrigerant leaks by learning to recognize the signs of a refrigerant leak in between the professional services. In an effort to help you see the signs of a refrigerant leak, we have listed the most common red flags.
Air Conditioner Refrigerant Leak Symptoms
1) Humid indoor air. During the process of removing the warm air from indoor space, air conditioners also dehumidify. Not only will you feel the cooling ability compromised, but when there is a refrigerant leak, you will also notice the inability for it to dehumidify, making the indoors feel sticky and humid.
2) Long cooling cycles. If cooling cycles are abnormally long, the sound of air moving through your vents makes it easier to notice; even if you don’t observe the air conditioner is lagging a few degrees behind your thermostat setting. The longer cooling cycles frequently points to a refrigerant leak.
3) Inefficient cooling. When the air conditioner cannot keep up with the cooling of the home during the hottest hours of the day, a refrigerant leak may be the culprit.
4) Unexplained increase in utility bills. The next power bill may be a huge red flag if you unexplained power use. Low refrigerant causes insufficient cooling, leading to longer cycles, which reflects the power use.
5) Evaporator coils that are frozen. One of the most obvious signs of a refrigerant leak is when you inspect the air conditioner unit outside. Low refrigerant will cause the frosty ice crystals to form on the evaporator coil, even with the hot blazing temperatures outside.
6) Abnormal hissing or bubbling sounds. Hearing bubbling and hissing sounds of an air conditioning unit that is not running is another production of a refrigerant leak.
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Keep in mind that some refrigerant leaks can result from environmental damage or overdue maintenance and even well-maintained systems can potentially spring a leak. Additionally, older air conditioner units can be patched up once to get you by, but should the unit leak again, consider replacing the unit as it will make more financial sense to invest in a new unit. If you should suspect your air conditioner unit is leaking refrigerant, call Ambient Heating and Air Conditioning and our expert will find the leak, patch it up, and get your unit recharged quickly. To minimize the odds of experiencing a refrigerant leak, be sure to get your air conditioner unit tune up before the demand on your unit is needed.