It can be tempting to ignore the signs that your air conditioner is having a bit of a rough time. But delaying repairs can cause problems to get much worse, and sometimes, if they get bad enough, you’ll no longer be able to have the air conditioner repaired at all. One of the riskiest AC problems to ignore is refrigerant leaks. Why is this such a concern? What can happen if you don’t get it fixed? Let us tell you all about it, so you can avoid having to replace your entire air conditioner.
What Refrigerant Does
Refrigerant is a chemical that is cycled through the coils of your air conditioner, evaporating into a gas while in the indoor portion and absorbing heat, and then condensing into a liquid again as it releases heat in the outdoor unit. It’s able to go through this cycle because of the compressor, which functions like a heart, pumping the refrigerant continuously through the system.
How Refrigerant Leaks Happen
In an older air conditioner, coils can degrade from the constant temperature fluctuations over time. But leaks can happen in a newer air conditioner as well, if the coils are damaged. This can happen from storm debris hitting the outdoor unit, accidental damage from amateur installation, or many other causes.
How to Detect Refrigerant Leaks
If your AC is leaking refrigerant, you may hear hissing or bubbling sounds as the chemical escapes and air seeps into the coils. You might smell an unusual, sweet chemical odor. Ice may build up on your evaporator coils. The AC might turn on and off very frequently as it tries to function. Or you might simply realize that you’re paying more for your utility bills while at the same time struggling to keep your home comfortably cool.
Problems Refrigerant Leaks Cause
The inefficiency and ineffectiveness of your air conditioner might sound bad, but they are far from the worst possible outcome of a refrigerant leak. What’s really bad is how it affects your compressor. As we said, this is the heart of the air conditioner, and just like you, the air conditioner can’t survive without its heart. As the compressor continues to try to pump less and less refrigerant, it will experience a lot of strain. This can cause it to overheat and burn out. And because it’s generally impossible to replace the compressor, you’ll likely find yourself needing to purchase a whole new air conditioner.
Repairing Refrigerant Leaks
The sooner you get air conditioning repair in New Haven, CT, the better. A technician can inspect the coils, pinpoint the source or sources of the leaking, and patch the coils to seal them completely. Then, the refrigerant can be refilled. This job can only be done by someone with special training, as refrigerant can be dangerous to handle. But with proper repairs, your system will function effectively and efficiently once more, and your compressor will breathe a sigh of relief.
Don’t hesitate to reach out if you are concerned that your air conditioner might be leaking refrigerant.