What to look for when you suspect that your AC unit is leaking refrigerant
Refrigerant leaks are a common service call. The refrigerant in your air conditioning system is constantly under high pressure.
Some refrigerant leaks are the result of environmental damage and some are the result of overdue maintenance. However, even a well-maintained system will spring a leak over time. That’s why annual air conditioning tune-ups are so important!
Besides posing serious threats to humans and the environment, a refrigerant leak is also harmful to your air conditioning system. Low levels of refrigerant can cause your compressor to work overtime and will damage numerous parts of the system.
Routine inspections and pressure tests will catch issues before they progress into larger, costly, and potentially dangerous problems. If you know what to look for, you might be able to help catch a refrigerant leak between maintenance appointments.
Six signs that your air conditioner has a refrigerant leak
Bubbling or hissing sound
Bubbling or hissing noises coming from your outdoor unit while it isn’t running are a possible sign of a significant leak.
High utility bill
If the symptoms described above escape your attention for an entire month, you may see a red flag in your next power bill. The inefficient cooling and longer cycles caused by low refrigerant also send your electric meter into overdrive.
Humid indoor air
Air conditioners dehumidify as they remove warm air from your home. When there’s a refrigerant leak, your AC’s ability to dehumidify is compromised.
Icy evaporator coils
The appearance of frosty ice crystals on the evaporator coil during hot weather mean that it’s time to call in a service technician!
Lengthy cooling cycles
Longer cooling cycles are another sign of a refrigerant leak, so take notice of your unit’s cooling cycles.
You might not be aware that your unit is lagging a few degrees behind your thermostat, so listen for the air moving through your vents and make note of the duration.
Loss of cooling power
If your AC unit isn’t able to keep up with the heat, a refrigerant leak is among the most common causes of poor cooling. It’s the refrigerant’s job to absorb the heat from your home and release it outside. If refrigerant levels are depleted, it takes longer to cool your home and often results in you dipping the thermostat lower and lower to get comfortable.
If you suspect a refrigerant leak, or urgently need a leak repaired, give us a call at 250.465.2490!
It’s highly advisable to call in a reputable HVAC service company—like us—to inspect your air conditioning system for a refrigerant leak. We have the equipment to detect leaks quickly and the experience to help you deal with the problem—big or small.