Discover How To Handle Refrigerant Leaks In Your AC System

Air conditioners spend half the year doing nothing and are then asked to work hard, in high heat, for several months, possibly non-stop. That places a lot of stress on the systems and illustrates exactly why you should have the system serviced annually by an expert in industrial air conditioning.

The Role Of Refrigerants

Air conditioners work n the opposite way to a refrigerator. The warm air passes through the unit and the refrigerant absorbs the heat, allowing the unit to blow cold air into your home. It’s a simple but vital process. 

Refrigerant runs through pipes to create a larger surface area, making it more efficient at cooling the air. 

Of course, air conditioners do experience issues and one of the most common is leaking refrigerant. There are many signs you may have a refrigerant leak:

  • Air conditioning not cooling properly

As soon as you turn your air conditioner on it should blow out ice-cold air. This is how t cools your home to the desired temperature. If it doesn’t emit cold air then it’s likely to be a problem with refrigerant levels. You’ll want to get them checked, any leak repaired, and the refrigerant refilled. It’s best to get a professional involved. 

  • It’s noisier than normal

Noisy air conditioning can mean a variety of things. But, it often means that the unit is straining to do its job properly. While there are several reasons for this, the most common is that there is insufficient refrigerant in the system and it needs to be dealt with. 

  • Energy bills increasing

As the unit starts to work harder and for longer to lower the temperature to your preferred setting, it will use more electricity. This is obvious as the air conditioning is doing more and therefore pulling more power from the grid. 

If you start noticing your energy bills rising you should check your air conditioner and have it properly serviced. 

  • Puddles under the compressor 

A puddle under the unit or the compressor is a sure sign that something is wrong. The process of extracting heat from the air does mean water is collected and expelled by the unit. But, this should be via a dedicated chamber or pipe. If the puddle under the unit is not in line with an exit pipe there is a good chance your refrigerant has a leak and you need help.

Repair Or replace

In many cases, a refrigerant leak can be repaired. This means either covering the damaged section of the pipe or removing it and replacing it with a fresh part. However, before you repair your unit it is worth looking at how old it is and whether you should be replacing the entire unit, not just the refrigerant. 

Older units are likely to encounter issues regularly and the refrigerant they use may no longer be available thanks to environmental law changes. In this situation, you’ll need to replace the entire unit with a modern one. It will be better for the environment and your energy bills.