If you don’t quite understand just how it is that your air conditioning system works, then you may be wondering why the term “refrigerant leak” strikes fear into homeowners around the world. The answer is actually quite simple. Without a proper refrigerant charge, an air conditioning system simply cannot be expected to operate properly. When you have a refrigerant leak, you need the problem to be resolved as quickly as possible to mitigate risks to your comfort and your AC itself.
Of course, before you can be expected to dial our number and schedule professional air conditioning service in Chesapeake, VA, you first need to recognize that there is a problem to begin with. The “good” news is this very unfortunate scenario is that there are a number of different warning signs that can tip you off to a refrigerant leak in your home. Just remember that most AC symptoms can have multiple causes. Our technicians will diagnose issues accurately and resolve them completely.
What Refrigerant Does in ACs
Refrigerant functions as the heat transfer fluid in your air conditioning system. Air conditioners don’t generate “coolness” the way that heaters generate new heat. Instead, they operate by removing heat from the air in homes and then redistributing that cooled air throughout the house. The evaporation and condensing of refrigerant make this possible.
As refrigerant in the system evaporates in the indoor evaporator coil, it draws heat out of the air passing through the coil. That refrigerant then cycles over to the outdoor condenser coil. There, it is condensed, which allows it to release its heat into the air outside. This heat transfer cycle continues until your home is comfortably cool.
Do I Have a Refrigerant Leak?
Now that you know what refrigerant does in your system, you’re probably wondering how to tell if there is indeed a leak in your AC. Here are some warning signs that definitely could mean that you’ve got a refrigerant leak on your hands.
- A drop in cooling output. Does it seem like your air conditioner is blowing warmer air than is normal? If so, it may be struggling to remove a sufficient amount of heat from the air in your home due to a refrigerant leak.
- Froze coils/frosty lines. There are a few reasons why you may have ice on your indoor coil. Even a very dirty airflow restricting airflow can lead to this. However, a refrigerant leak could also be the cause, and can lead to ice on the refrigerant lines themselves, too.
- Spikes in cooling costs. The lower the refrigerant level, the harder your system is going to have to work in order to cool your home effectively. That will result in skyrocketing energy costs, leaving you to pay more for less comfort!
Don’t let a refrigerant leak compromise your comfort or seriously damage your air conditioning system. Let us know the moment that you suspect a problem of any kind with your home cooling system.