How To Handle AC Refrigerant Leaks

Spend more than a summer in Arizona and you’ll want the nicest air conditioning unit you can find. An oasis for and supplier of relief, AC units are relied upon year-round to keep us comfortable when the temperatures are rising. Averages can climb into the 90’F mark with regularity, leaving most of us sweating and looking for comfort at home.

So, when your air conditioning unit begins to leak refrigerant as the thermostat starts to climb, you might feel like you are left without a solution. Fortunately, the team at One Stop Heating & Cooling is here to help!

What Is AC Refrigerant and What Does It Do?

While we may have grown used to the push-button convenience of modern air conditioning, HVAC systems are relatively complicated machines. Refrigerant leaks are one of the most common forms of failure in older HVAC systems and, as such, most homeowners and renters might need to learn a bit more about them.

When you turn on your air conditioning unit, it will begin pushing refrigerant in either liquid or gas form toward your air conditioning unit’s air compressor. At this point, the compressor will trap and compress the coolant, forcing it into a smaller space where they collide and begin to produce heat. After this heat is produced, refrigerant is pushed through the condenser, onto the evaporator coils, and into your home.

If you do not have refrigerant in your system or if a leak prevents its correct operation, your air conditioning unit will only push out hot air, leaving you sweating when you need relief.

How Do I Know My Refrigerant Is Leaking?

Like most HVAC issues, diagnosing an issue will require a little bit of attentiveness. A refrigerant leak in your A/C unit may not be immediately noticeable, but a few signs and symptoms can point you in the right direction.

If you notice any of the following signs, your A/C might have leaking refrigerant issues.

  • Elevated Energy Bill – As the seasons’ progress, it is natural for our utility bills to ebb and flow. However, if you notice a higher-than-usual energy bill, there is a chance your air conditioner is leaking refrigerant. When an HVAC unit cannot properly process refrigerant, the machine is forced to run constantly while it attempts to cool your home. This leads to overworked HVAC machines and skyrocketing energy bills all without any comfort in the home.
  • Longer Cooling Times – There are a variety of reasons for a home to struggle to stay adequately cool during the summer. An HVAC unit may have clogged filters or it could even be improperly sized for your home. Another common reason for slow cooling times is due to leaking AC refrigerant. Your AC will be forced to work harder to get the same results that a healthy and fully stocked machine would require.
  • Elevated Humidity – When your air conditioning unit struggles to produce, it can cause the humidity levels in your home to rise. Leaking refrigerant will prevent your AC from properly dehumidifying your space, leaving you in an uncomfortable and potentially sticky environment.
  • Frozen Coil – Finally, an AC unit that is improperly functioning will potentially run into evaporator coil issues. If you assess your HVAC machine and see that the evaporator coil has frozen over or is covered in frost, you have found your problem.

Common Causes of AC Refrigerant Leaks

As with all appliances in the household, air conditioners only have a limited shelf life. If you have an older air conditioner or are faced with sudden operating issues, it might be due to one of the following reasons.

  • Eroded Joints – Weak HVAC joints can lead to erosion within the HVAC system. As the machines’ core components erode, the HVAC system will lose not just durability but efficiency as well. Contact a qualified HVAC technician to assess your system for weakened joints.
  • Corrosion – A major issue in leaking HVAC units; corrosion is produced by moisture and time. Corrosion causes cracks and splits to appear in the walls of your HVAC oils.
  • Improper Installation – Not only is it imperative to hire a qualified HVAC technician to repair your system, but you also want a professional to install it as well. Poor installation services can lead to leaking AC refrigerant, particularly if components are not well-fitted together.

Keep Cool With One Stop Heating & Cooling!

One Stop Heating & Cooling is a family-owned and operated company based out of Phoenix, AZ. Focused on high-quality work provided by exceptional professionals, One Stop Heating & Cooling prides itself on being the top HVAC company in Arizona.

Contact One Stop today to enjoy

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Beat the heat this summer and call One Stop Heating & Cooling to fix your leaking AC refrigerant.