An air conditioning system relies on the refrigerant to create the cool air that circulates throughout the home. Sometimes the refrigerant can leak out. With low refrigerant levels in your system, your air conditioner will fail to make cool air. Refrigerant leaks can develop most often in older units. But why does a refrigerant leak develop and where? Hal Mechanical would like to cover where refrigerant leaks commonly occur and how to detect refrigerant leaks if they happen in your AC system.
Signs of a Refrigerant Leak
The refrigerant is recycled and reused. So basically, you should never run out of refrigerant. Refrigerant is not a fuel source. If you have signs of low refrigerant, it is due to a leak that the refrigerant has escaped through. It is important to detect signs of low refrigerant so as to locate and repair the leak and recharge the refrigerant. Running an air conditioner without refrigerant will have major consequences the longer the unit runs. The faster you can repair the leak, the better off the air conditioner unit will be. Some of the common signs or symptoms of low refrigerant are:
• Higher Energy Bills
• Longer or More Frequent Cooling Cycles
• Warm Air Coming From the Vents
• Ice Building Up on The Air Conditioner
If you notice any of these classic signs of having low refrigerant, turn off the air conditioner and contact an HVAC service. Only a licensed HVAC technician can recharge an air conditioning unit. They will also be able to repair the leak properly.
How to Find AC Refrigerant Leaks
There are a few areas or components within the air conditioning that can develop refrigerant leaks. Some of the primary components that develop refrigerant leaks and why are:
• Capillary Tubes – The capillary tubes of the evaporator coils vibrate while the air conditioner is running a cycle. Over time the vibrations cause the capillary tubes to rub against each other and surrounding components. Eventually the tubes can develop holes and cracks which allows the refrigerant running through the capillary tube to leak out. When the tubes develop holes or cracks, the tubes will need to be replaced.
• Condenser Coils – The condenser coil is a component comprised of copper tubes that make a number of U-bends. Like the capillary tube, the condenser tubes also vibrate and as the copper tubes rub against each other, they can develop holes. The refrigerant that is traveling through the condenser coils will leak out. Again if the condenser coil tubes have developed a hole, often the tube system will need to be replaced.
• Refrigerant Line – The refrigerant line is the copper pipe that connects to the outdoor unit. Where the copper pipe is exposed to the elements, it is common for the refrigerant line to get damaged or corrode. Depending on the size and location of the damage, they can be repaired by using set joints or flare connections. Worse case, the refrigerant line may need to be replaced.
Central Air Conditioning Services & More in Aliante, Centennial, Desert Shores, Eldorado, Enterprise, Green Valley Ranch, Henderson, Lone Mountain Village, North LV, Peccole Ranch, Paradise, Silverado Ranch, Spring Valley, Summerlin, Sunrise Manor, Tuscany Village, Whitney, Winchester & Las Vegas Nevada
If you notice signs of a refrigerant leak this summer season, do not hesitate to have your air conditioner inspected and repaired. For HVAC services, contact Hal Mechanical today.