Commercial HVAC Systems: Staying Street Wise

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Typical Signs You Have Leaky Air Conditioner Refrigerant in the Home

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Your air conditioner refrigerant is the all-important chemical substance that absorbs heat from the hot indoor air drawn into the air conditioning system, to release cool air from the supply vents. The refrigerant is usually located inside the evaporator coils of the AC equipment and it changes form between liquid and gaseous state, hence explaining the potential for leaking to occur. As a homeowner who wants to maintain comfortable indoor temperatures during the hot sunny days of the year, you will not get efficient cooling service from your air conditioning system if you are running low on refrigerant. 

Below is a look at some sure-fire signs you may be having refrigerant leaks in your residential air conditioning system. 

Your air conditioner is blowing hot air.

If hot air is being blown out of your home air conditioner supply vents, and your equipment is not operating on heating mode, then chances are high that refrigerant is escaping from the system. To check if your unit is supplying hot air, simply place your hands over the supply vents — your supply vents are the vents from which you can feel conditioned air coming out of.

Your air conditioner takes longer to cool a room or the entire house.

Is your air conditioning unit taking longer than it typically does to cool a room or the whole house? If the answer to this question is yes, then you could be facing a refrigerant leak problem. When air conditioner refrigerant is escaping from the system, it will naturally take longer for the remaining refrigerant to absorb heat from the hot air being introduced into the equipment. If it usually takes 30 minutes as per the timer on your programmable thermostat to achieve a certain indoor temperature, and you notice that it is taking more time to attain the same temperature level, you should check your refrigerant.

Your air conditioner makes a hissing or bubbling noise.

If you can hear hissing or bubbling noise coming from your evaporator unit, that could be the sound of refrigerant escaping due to too much pressure in the refrigerant lines. So if you hear such noise, you need to call in a technician to locate and fix the leak.

Ice forms on your refrigerant line.

Low refrigerant results in low pressure, and low pressure in turn leads to low temperatures, which will eventually cause the evaporator coils holding the refrigerant to freeze up. When these coils freeze, ice-cold liquid refrigerant travels through the refrigerant line and causes the humidity in the surrounding air to freeze. This causes ice to form on the refrigerant line. While there might be other reasons for this problem, refrigerant leak is potentially one of the major ones.