Is Your Air Conditioner Leaking Refrigerant?

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Depending on the age and condition of your home air conditioner, you might have a refrigerant issue. One indicator of leaking refrigerant is a noticeable decrease in the amount of cool air your air conditioner is pumping into your home. Another sign you might be losing refrigerant is the formation of ice on your evaporator coils. Or you might hear a faint hissing sound coming from your unit. If you’ve noticed that something is not right with your air conditioner, or it doesn’t seem to be working as efficiently as usual, you may want to give us a call.

What Is Refrigerant and How Does It Work?

Many people mistakenly believe air conditioners pump cold air into their homes until the temperature goes down to their desired setting. However, the key to modern air conditioning is removing heat from the air inside your home and transferring that heat to the outside. Refrigerant is the central element in this ingenious transfer of heat. Refrigerant is a fluid or compound which has a very low boiling point and can easily transform from liquid into gas and back to liquid again. In an endless cycle, refrigerant passes through your AC system’s main components – from the evaporator to the compressor to the condenser, etc. and (to oversimplify) picks up the heat from inside your home and “carries” it to the condenser (which is designed to dissipate heat and is located outside your home and) where it is blown away.

The important thing to know about replacing refrigerant is it’s not a job for do-it-yourselfers. Refrigerant is encased in a closed system and should be checked often (we recommend twice a year.) Detecting leaks and replacing refrigerant is best left to professionals. Here are just a few of the refrigerant related issues we inspect during a summer check-up:

  • Check Refrigerant Levels and Replace If Needed

    As mentioned, your AC system’s refrigerant is carried within a closed, pressurized system of pipes which should never leak. As we all know, refrigerant is toxic to the environment and bad for the ozone. Our expert technicians will check your refrigerant levels and replace if necessary. If there is a significant loss of refrigerant, that would indicate a leak in your system.

  • Check for Corrosion and Leaks

    Refrigerant leaks often occur in older air conditioning units due to corrosion. There is always a fair amount of moisture surrounding your AC components and the metal parts and pipes are susceptible to rust and corrosion. At a certain point, small leaks may develop as the corroded metal degrades. We’ll check all the pressurized lines and metal parts to verify if your system has any leaks.

  • Inspect the Components

    Evaporator coils and condenser coils are built with metal tubes and U-bends which are subject to constant vibration. Over time, the vibration of these tubes and joints can cause tiny pin hole leaks. Our technicians will check to see if your coils need replacing.<.li>

Summer Service Is the Best Way to Prevent a Summer AC Slump

In Phoenix, we all know the worst time of year to experience an AC slowdown or breakdown is the middle of summer. We’ve been lucky so far – June temperatures have been mild. However, the heatwaves are coming. Schedule a summer service call and we’ll make sure your AC system is full of refrigerant and operating efficiently.

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