If your air conditioner is losing refrigerant, you may be thinking you’ll just refill it — no big deal, right? Wrong. There’s a common misconception that AC refrigerant needs to be refilled from time to time, but that’s not true. In reality, air conditioners are not supposed to lose refrigerant, and when they do, that means something’s wrong. If your air conditioner is losing refrigerant, you could have a serious leak. Left unaddressed, a refrigerant leak could cause major damage to your air conditioner. If you’ve ever been told by an air conditioning repair person that your AC refrigerant needs topped off, you’re not working with a professional. Luckily, that’s not a problem you have to worry about when you contact the best AC service Flower Mound has to offer: Strittmatter Plumbing, Heating and AC. When you call Strittmatter, an experienced AC technician will assess the situation, identify the problem and offer appropriate solutions. Keep reading to learn about AC refrigerant leaks and how to stop them. Need HVAC repairs now? Strittmatter Plumbing, Heating and AC has got you covered! Our experienced HVAC team is ready to take your call and provide the services you need, when you need them. Schedule service online or give us a call at (972) 362-4135.
What is Refrigerant?The compressor and refrigerant act as the heart and lifeblood of the air conditioning system, respectively. The compressor is a motor-driven component that is responsible for circulating refrigerant throughout the system. Refrigerant is a chemical blend that is able to switch easily from a gaseous to liquid state; this process allows it to absorb and release heat. Here’s how the process works:
- The compressor changes refrigerant into a high-pressure, high-temperature gas.
- The refrigerant gas moves to the AC’s outside coil and releases heat through condensation, which cools it down.
- The refrigerant then travels to the inside coil, and in a cooler state, it causes evaporation when it encounters the warmer indoor air.
- The evaporation process pulls heat from the indoor air, cooling it down.
- The refrigerant, which is now liquid again, travels back to the compressor to start the process over.
What Causes Refrigerant Leaks?Most of the time, refrigerant leaks are caused by wear and tear on the refrigerant line. When the refrigerant line is damaged, refrigerant may drain from the air conditioner. Without refrigerant, the air conditioner may still blow air, but it won’t blow cool air. Vibrations can also cause refrigerant leaks over time, as can damaged joints and connections. Although determining the cause of the leak can be helpful in some situations, it’s not as important as addressing the leak quickly. However, it’s not always clear when an air conditioner has a refrigerant leak, especially if it’s a slow leak. That’s why it’s important to recognize the signs of a leak. Need an air conditioning repair? Instead of Googling “ac service flower mound,” save yourself some time and contact a Flower Mound air conditioning repair specialist at Strittmatter Plumbing, Heating and AC.
Signs of a Refrigerant LeakMost air conditioners will display various symptoms when there’s a problem. Unless the refrigerant leak was caused by sudden damage, your air conditioner will likely show some of the following warning signs:
- Poor cooling ability. This is the biggest sign of a refrigerant leak. If your AC is running normally but doesn’t blow cool air, you probably have a leak.
- Hissing or bubbling sounds. These sounds can mean that refrigerant is leaking in either its gaseous or liquid state; hissing indicates refrigerant escaping in gaseous form, bubbling in liquid form.
- Ice-buildup. When your AC has a refrigerant leak, it can’t absorb enough heat to warm the evaporator coil. When this happens, the coil can freeze over.
- Short cycles. A lack of refrigerant is hard on an air conditioner and can cause it to overheat. This increased strain can cause an AC to start and shut off abruptly, a process known as short-cycling.