Signs That Your AC Refrigerant is Leaking
Everyone loves a warm late summer evening – certainly before those crisp Bay Area falls become a reality. However, no one really wants that sultry heat to enter their living room. If you are concerned about the efficiency of your cooling system, it might just be possible that your refrigerant is leaking.
A leak won’t just cost you in terms of comfort, it will also cost you major dollars because of high energy bills.
Here are 5 signs that your AC refrigerant is leaking:
- Cooling power is less
Refrigerant is vital to an HVAC system’s cooling power. The refrigerant absorbs heat from the home and releases it outside by way of the compressor. Depleted refrigerant levels do not allow for quick cooling. This will cause you to lower the thermostat levels for quick cooling, which in turn inflates energy bills.
- Lack of cool air from vents (registers)
Another sign of an AC refrigerant leak is no cool air coming from the registers or vents. A quick check for cool air could help you ascertain the efficiency of your AC and refrigerant levels.
- Indoor unit making a hissing sound
Cracks or holes in the coils which circulate the refrigerant may be the primary cause of a leak. Hissing in the indoor unit can be indicative of multiple problems. However, it is generally associated with a refrigerant leak. You may hear a gurgling sound if the leak is larger.
- Frozen coils
Coils are unable to absorb heat adequately when refrigerant levels are insufficient in the evaporator coils. This will cause any condensation on the coils to freeze. Sometimes, this frozen condensation may even begin to thaw and drip on the floor. You may think ice on an evaporator coil is not alarming. However, it may just cause a system breakdown which could lead to an expensive repair or compressor replacement.
- Increasing energy bills
AC refrigerant levels are directly related to your comfort levels. Most people turn down the thermostat to get cooler air. However, this only results in the unit consuming more energy. Analyze your energy bills for inconsistent usage levels. If possible, compare your bills with last year’s bills during the same months. This would provide a clearer picture.
What should you do?
You may just get tempted to have the refrigerant refilled since it is way cheaper than a costly repair. However, that is not a permanent solution. Beware of any HVAC contractors who offer this cutting-corners approach. You would just find yourself calling another contractor before the month is out.
Some people try sealing the leak as a stop-gap measure. However, sealants are quick-fixes and may result in extended problems. Sealants are known to cause blockages. The best way to go about is to call a reputable HVAC contractor.
Let the professionals check the system and ascertain whether there is a leakage or not. If there is a leak, the experts would recommend the best solution for the problem. Refrigerant leaks in HVAC systems are fairly common service calls. If you have a preventative maintenance plan, the leak could be covered by it.