When the refrigerant in your air conditioner starts leaking out, your AC will slowly stop cooling. If the leak is tiny, it could take a long time for all the refrigerant to escape, but if you have multiple leaks or a large leak, then you could be without cool air in a short amount of time. Since your AC won't cool without refrigerant, you'll definitely want to have repairs done if you suspect your AC has a leak. Here are signs of a refrigerant leak and how an HVAC technician makes repairs.
Signs That Refrigerant Is Leaking From Your AC
When the refrigerant starts to leak out, your air conditioner struggles to keep your home at the temperature you have set on the thermostat. This means it will run longer and longer, but your home will be getting warmer and warmer. When this happens slowly, your first indication could be a higher power bill because the AC runs more. Eventually, when the refrigerant runs out, the air coming from the registers will be warm. Your AC will run normally, but it puts out warm air.
Another common problem with a refrigerant leak is ice on the coils. This happens because of the pressure drop caused by the leak. This allows condensation to freeze and the problem snowballs from light frost to ice covering the coils. With the air conditioner frozen up, your home won't cool down, so your AC has to be thawed out and the refrigerant leak repaired so the line can be refilled.
How A Leaking Refrigerant Problem Is Fixed
The first step is to confirm the refrigerant is leaking, which can be difficult to do when the leak is tiny. The HVAC technician has tools that can detect the leak and show if the leak is releasing a lot of gas or a little. The entire coil will probably be checked since you can have more than one leak. Since leaking refrigerant is such a problem for the air conditioner as well as the environment, the leaking parts will probably be replaced rather than patched up to ensure the problem won't come back. Once repairs are done, the refrigerant can be recharged and brought back to the optimal pressure.
The refrigerant can leak for a long time without you knowing it, but this is one thing an HVAC technician looks for when performing annual maintenance on the AC. This allows problems to be found and repaired before you face a hot summer day with no AC due to a loss of refrigerant. Contact your local air conditioning services today for an appointment.