Is Your Air Conditioner Leaking Refrigerant? Here’s What You Can Do!

Friday, May 10th, 2019
residential HVAC services

Refrigerant is what allows your air conditioner to cool your building. If the system doesn’t have refrigerant, it is only going to blow around room temperature air. But, your air conditioning unit is a closed system, so you don’t need to add more refrigerant unless it leaks out.

Once your unit is installed, it should be adequately charged so you only need regular maintenance to keep it running smoothly. This means that if you have a leak, something is malfunctioning.

How do you know if your refrigerant is low?

If you notice that your air conditioner is blowing warm or hot air, that is an indication that the refrigerant is low. Also, if you see ice forming on the evaporator coils, then that means the coil is getting too cold. This could be the result of condensation freezing onto the coil. If you hear bubbling or hissing noises coming from your air conditioner, that is a strong indicator of a leak as well.

Another way you can tell you have a refrigerant leak is if your electricity bill is higher than normal or your building is taking much longer to cool. Your system could be cycling on and off more frequently if this happens. This is known as short cycling. If it turns on and off in a short period of time, it will increase the stress on your system and result in many issues.

How refrigerant leaks happen

Leaks can occur for a variety of reasons, but these are the most common.

  • First, metal components can erode over time from formic acid, which burns small holes in the unit. Usually, you can address the damage by replacing the affected components or, if the damage is too severe, replacing the entire system.
  • Second, vibrations in the air conditioner can result in leaking refrigerant.
  • If your air conditioning system is old, it can leak because the refrigerant is circulated at high pressures. This can result in a thinning in the lines over time.
  • Factory defects are another cause of refrigerant leaks.
  • Finally, if you recently installed a new air conditioner, improper installation can result in leaking refrigerant.

What to do if your air conditioner is leaking refrigerant

When refrigerant levels are low, your air conditioner must work harder to maintain the same temperatures. You can fix this issue for a short time by adding more refrigerant, but the problem will remain. The better option is to find and repair the leak. While repairing the leak may be more expensive, it will save you money in the long-term. You will avoid the regular cost of recharging your air conditioner and repairing overall damage.

Air conditioner services in Amarillo, Texas

If you think you have a leak, you should hire a professional to diagnose and fix your air conditioner. At Allen’s Tri-State Mechanical Inc. in Amarillo, Texas, our technicians have decades of plumbing and HVAC experience. We offer Residential and Commercial services throughout the Texas Panhandle. If you need help with your HVAC, call us at (806) 376-8345 or Contact Us by email to learn more.