Does Your AC Have a Refrigerant Leak?

AC-manifoldHopefully not, to be honest. We’re not in the business of scare tactics, but we do need you to understand that some air conditioning problems are simply more serious than others. And when it comes to the most serious issues that your air conditioner can encounter, well—a refrigerant leak is right up there. Of course, before you can really understand just why it is that a refrigerant leak is so serious, you must first understand the role that refrigerant plays in your HVAC system in Asheville, NC.

You’re in luck because that’s part of what we’re going to be covering in today’s blog entry. As you’ll learn in the post that follows, an air conditioner without a proper refrigerant charge isn’t really much better than no air conditioner at all. In fact, running an air conditioner with a low charge is a pretty good way to wind up with no air conditioning at all! Don’t let that fate befall you in our hot and humid climate.

What Is Refrigerant?

Refrigerant is a heat transfer fluid. Basically, your air conditioner cools your home by removing heat from the air within it and then releasing that heat outside. This method of operation is made possible through the evaporation and condensing of refrigerant.

How Does the Refrigerant Cycle Work?

Your air conditioner has 2 coils in it. The evaporator coil is located indoors, and the condenser coil is in the outdoor unit. As the refrigerant evaporates in the indoor coil, heat is drawn out of the air inside. The warm refrigerant then travels out to the condenser coil. There, it is condensed. As the refrigerant condenses, its heat is released into the air outside. Refrigerant operates in a closed cycle, and it is not consumed by air conditioners.

Signs of a Refrigerant Leak

If your air conditioner is low on refrigerant, it basically means that your system either has a leak or was improperly charged, to begin with. A leak is definitely the most likely cause of your low refrigerant level. You are not going to continually top off your refrigerant in the case of a leak. You need the leak pinpointed and resolved professionally ASAP. That begs the question of how to recognize the signs of a refrigerant leak, to begin with, though. Keep the following symptoms in mind.

  • Decreased cooling output, as your system struggles to remove a sufficient amount of heat from your home.
  • Increased cooling costs, adding insult to injury as you pay more for weaker cooling performance.
  • Short cycling, as the system overheats and cycles down to prevent damages.
  • Ice on the coil or refrigerant lines as moisture freezes up on them.

If you keep running a system that is low on refrigerant, you can do very serious damage to your system.  A complete breakdown is possible, and you may damage your compressor beyond repair. By scheduling repairs promptly, you reduce the risk of damage and protect your comfort at the same time.

Schedule your AC repairs with Comfort Central, Inc.

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