The air conditioning (AC) refrigerant carries heat away from the house and dumps it into the outside environment. A refrigerant leak reduces the volume of refrigerant available for this task. Below are some of the signs of refrigerant leaks and how you can prevent them.
Here are some of the common signs of a refrigerant leak.
A serious leak will lower the volume of refrigerant and leave your AC unable to cool the house. In such a case, you will notice the AC running longer cycles than usual. The AC might run for a long time before you feel its cooling effects. Some parts of the house may also be warmer than others.
A refrigerant leak will also lead to energy inefficiency because the AC will be struggling to cool the house. You might notice an increase in energy bills without corresponding evidence of increased consumption.
Ice on the Evaporator Coil
The evaporator coil holds cold refrigerant. The compressor moves warm air over the evaporator coil so that the refrigerant can absorb the heat. If the refrigerant level is low due to leakage, the coil will remain cold and moisture might condense and freeze over the coil.
Refrigerant leakages usually occur slowly over time, and the actual loss is usually unnoticeable. However, serious damage to the AC system can leave big holes or cracks and facilitate the rapid flow of refrigerant out of the system. In such a case, you might notice a hissing or gurgling sound from the unit.
Here are some tips to help you prevent refrigerant leakage.
Maintain the System
A negligently maintained AC breaks down more often than a properly maintained one. The breakdowns can lead to refrigerant leaks. Maintain your AC to avoid such breakdowns.
Keep Dogs Away
Dog pee is acidic, and acid encourages corrosion. Keep dogs away from the outside AC unit, for example, by fencing in the unit.
Ensure Careful Cleaning
As mentioned above, acids encourage corrosion. Don't use acidic cleaners on the AC since that will only encourage corrosion. The AC doesn't need to be sparkling clean.
Ensure Prompt Repairs
Inspect the refrigerant regularly to identify weak points, such as corroded parts or loose connections. That way, you can fix the issues promptly before they can cause refrigerant leaks.
Hopefully, your AC won't suffer refrigerant leaks any time soon. If you suspect leakage, hire an AC service to diagnose and fix the issue to curtail the effects of the leakage.