Refrigerant Leaks: Is It Time to Panic?
Warm weather is on its way out and cooler air continues to roll into San Antonio. That means it’s time to give your air conditioner a little break. But, if you have current issues with your systems, this doesn’t mean you should turn a blind eye. If you’re thinking, “My refrigerant leaks can wait until summer to fix,” just wait one minute. Our team at Tex-Perts Cooling & Heating are here to explain why should address that problem sooner rather than later.
How serious are refrigerant leaks?
While not a mechanical component, the refrigerant in your air conditioning system is definitely one of the key players in the overall cooling process. If your system is experiencing refrigerant leaks, then you absolutely must schedule prompt air conditioning repairs before serious damage is done. Of course, in order to do so, you must first recognize that there is a refrigerant leak to begin with.
Luckily, there are some common warning signs that your air conditioning system is leaking refrigerant. Keep an eye out for ice building up on the evaporator coil. This will get too cold if there is not enough refrigerant within in order to draw a sufficient amount of heat out of the air. Also, if there is frost on the refrigerant lines themselves, then you are likely looking at a leak.
You may also see your energy costs spiking and notice that your system is running longer and longer. The fact is that a system low on refrigerant is going to have to run longer to draw the right amount of heat out of the air. Less refrigerant in turn signals less heat transfer. Energy usage goes up trying to maintain the same comfort level and consequently your energy bills go up as well.
Learn more about furnace odors
It’s important to keep in mind that refrigerant is a heat transfer fluid. The evaporation of refrigerant in your system’s evaporator coil is what allows the system to cool your home. Additionally, an air conditioner does not magically generate cool air. Instead, it removes heat from the air passing over the coil by evaporating refrigerant, which then travels outdoors to vent that heat as it is condensed.
If there is not enough refrigerant in the system, this whole cooling process is going to be thrown off. When that happens, the system is going to struggle to cool your home effectively. This will have some serious implications for the system, including eventual compressor failure.
The inner workings of an AC system require that it remain free of contaminants and moisture that are in the air. A system that is in prime condition is sealed from this contamination. But if there are refrigerant leaks, and all the refrigerant leaks out, then the seal is broken and moisture and dirt can enter the system. This can cause major damage. In the end, your compressor will be compromised and can fail much quicker than it is designed for.