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The Signs of a Refrigerant Leak

air conditioner with tools on top and technician's hands working on itHave you ever tried to use a gas stove with no gas? It likely doesn’t do much if you did. The same applies to an air conditioner without any refrigerant.

See, refrigerant is the substance within your air conditioner that makes the entire cooling process possible. This is because it is the “heat transfer medium” that absorbs the heat that is in the air in your home and pulls it outside allowing cooler air to be blown back into the house.

Refrigerant is vital to your AC and without it, the system really isn’t going to offer much other than air circulation. So it should come as no surprise that you should be concerned about losing refrigerant from your air conditioner.

Do You Have a Refrigerant Leak?

If your cooling system develops a refrigerant leak, you’ll want to schedule an AC repair in Lake Worth, FL as early as possible to address it. Here are some of the warning signs that will help you figure out if your system is losing this vital substance.

  1. Hissing or bubbling: When your refrigerant line springs a leak it may emit some different noises. Hissing indicates a leak in the line where the refrigerant is in a gaseous state. Bubbling indicates the leak is in an area of the line where the refrigerant is in liquid form.
  2. Reduced cooling: Refrigerant is vital for the creation of cool air. When your system starts to lose refrigerant it loses the substance that absorbs heat and cools the air. Reduced cooling may indicate you have a refrigerant leak.
  3. Increased energy bills: As your system loses refrigerant, it will struggle to cool your home effectively. This will translate to higher energy use in order to try to get your home comfortable. This will, of course, increase your energy bills.
  4. Longer cooling cycles OR short cycling: The average cooling cycle lasts around 15 minutes. Shortened cycles are known as short cycling which is sometimes caused by refrigerant leaks. The same applies to when your system continuously runs–it may have a refrigerant leak and is running longer to try to get the job done.
  5. Ice on the evaporator coil: One other indicator that you have a refrigerant leak is ice collecting on your evaporator coil. This may sound ironic but it is true. This is because, if there isn’t enough refrigerant to absorb the heat from air passing over the coil, it will instead end up over-cooling the space immediately around the coil, creating layers of ice.

Refrigerant leaks may take a bit of time to impact your comfort. At the end of the day though the sooner you have that leak identified and addressed, the better off your system will be. Make sure to contact a technician to have your AC checked out if you notice any of the above warning signs so that they can patch the leak and get your refrigerant level back to where it needs to be.

If you need help getting your air conditioner back in working order, contact Envirotech Air Quality Services.

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