Summer is on its way, and here in Palm Beach, FL, that means your air conditioning system needs to be ready to go. One of the most common problems that technicians experience with air conditioning systems is a loss of refrigerant. The chemicals required to facilitate the cooling process require specific amounts in order to work, determined by the exact model of your air conditioner. When those levels drop – usually through a leak or a loss in the system – it can create serious strain on the system, resulting in higher bills and a greater chance of a breakdown. A good maintenance or repair session can nip that problem in the bud, but how can you tell if those levels are low? Here’s how to determine if your air conditioning refrigerant is leaking.
It might come from any source, but if you notice your monthly bills rising despite the fact that you’re not using your air conditioner any more often than normal may indicate lower refrigerant levels. Without as much refrigerant in the system, the air conditioner needs to work harder to do its job, and hence requires more energy – which you end up paying for.
Bubbling and Hissing Noises
Sometimes when refrigerant leaks you can hear it escape via a hissing or bubbling noise. Pinpointing such leaks can be difficult, but the sound itself is fairly easy to recognize. A trained technician can hunt down the leak and seal if before restoring refrigerant levels to their full capacity.
Frost on the Coils
The most obvious sign of leaking refrigerant is a build-up of frost on the evaporator coils, representing lost cooling potential and forming an insulating barrier between the refrigerant and the air it’s supposed to cool. Never scrape off any frost you see: it won’t solve the problem and you may end up damaging the coils. Instead, call in a service technician to resolve the issue properly.
If you suspect your AC unit has lost refrigerant, give the pros at Envirotech Air Quality Services a call!