Is Your HVAC System Showing Signs Of Refrigerant Leaks?
Hot summer days are great only if you have a cool home to walk into! Are you worried because your place is not cooling off like it should? Maybe you’ve noticed warm air or lower than normal airflow coming out of your system’s registers or even you’ve heard a hissing sound. You could have also observed water on the floor by your HVAC unit or seen ice forming on your evaporator coils. These are all significant signs that you’re A/C Refrigerant is leaking.
Did you know a reduction of refrigerant is not a normal part of the operation of your system and likely signals an AC refrigerant leak? A properly running system circulates and maintains the same amount of refrigerant over a long period of time, it is not like oil in your car that must be replenished within months.
5 signs of an AC refrigerant leak
- LOSS OF COOLING POWER
Refrigerant plays an extremely important role in the cooling process. It’s the refrigerant’s job to absorb the heat from your home and release it outside. If your refrigerant levels are depleted, it will take longer to cool your home, which often results in a visit to the thermostat for a downward temperature adjustment. (Which may increase your bill and it still won’t get and stay cold)
- REGISTERS (vents) NOT BLOWING COOL AIR
One part of your quick checkup for an AC refrigerant leak is to check the air coming from your registers (vents). If the air is not as cold as it should be, it could mean an HVAC refrigerant leak.
- HISSING SOUNDS COMING FROM YOUR INDOOR UNIT
An AC refrigerant leak is caused by holes or cracks in the coils that circulate the refrigerant. Though hissing could be a sign of a variety of problems, refrigerant leaks are among them. A larger leak may produce a gurgling sound. Definitely not something you want to hear all night and day.
- Frozen Coils
When the refrigerant levels circulating through the evaporator coils are insufficient, the coils will not adequately absorb heat. This will result in condensation on the coils to freeze. Sometimes the frozen condensation will begin to melt and drip on the floor. Though ice on the evaporator coil might not seem alarming, it could lead to a system breakdown and could translate into an expensive repair such as a compressor replacement. If a system looks to be freezing, immediately shut it off until a professional is available. Technicians are unable to work on the unit if it’s frozen.
- High electric bill
If an AC refrigerant leak is negatively impacting your comfort level and causing you to dial down the thermostat in the hope of getting cooler air, you will be using more electricity. Review your utility bill for inconsistent usage levels especially when compared to the same timeframe last year.
What’s next? Getting a refill is not the answer
You may be tempted to just ask an AC professional to come in and add refrigerant to your system. After all, it’s cheaper than a costly repair. However, it will not be the cheapest route in the end for the homeowner. Adding refrigerant could cost you money in the long run because the refrigerant, which is escalating in price, will leak out again and have to be refilled; plus you could see a major expensive repair or replacement if the leak is not addressed.
Some people might try to use a sealant as a quick fix for a small AC refrigerant leak, however, sealant quick-fixes are nothing more than just “quick fixes”. This temporary solution could end up doing more harm than good because sealants sometimes cause blockages, which can cause more damage to your system.