Things To Know About A Refrigerant Leak In Your Air Conditioning System

One of the most important air conditioning services you can have done is to check the refrigerant in your system. It isn't easy to tell when the refrigerant first starts to leak. If the leak is slow, it might go on for a long time before you realize the problems with your AC are due to low refrigerant.

Meanwhile, your air conditioning bills could keep getting higher. When you have an annual service call, the AC technician will check the refrigerant and find out about the problem before you start using the AC every day. Here are some things to know about refrigerant leaks in an air conditioner.

Low Refrigerant Is Detected With A Pressure Gauge

Your air conditioning maintenance technician has a gauge that checks the level of refrigerant in your AC. You probably don't have access to one of these gauges, and that's why you can't tell for sure if the refrigerant is leaking. The technician can measure the refrigerant level and let you know how much refrigerant has been lost.

Refrigerant Loss Isn't Normal

Air conditioning refrigerant is in a closed system, so it should never leak from your air conditioner. If it does leak, that means there's a hole or loose connection somewhere. If the technician discovers the refrigerant is low, they'll need to figure out why and then make repairs.

Refrigerant flows through a copper line that connects two coils. The condenser coil is outside and the evaporator coil is indoors. The indoor coil is exposed to outgassing from carpet and other household items, and this can cause pitting and pinholes to develop. However, a leak could occur in the straight line or outdoor coil too.

Refrigerant Leaks Might Be Tricky To Find

If a leak is large enough, the technician might hear hissing coming from the area. They might try using a soap solution that will create bubbles where the leak is located. However, they'll probably have a meter that is able to detect leaking refrigerant. They just need to make sure they find all of the leaks, because in the case of pinhole leaks in the evaporator coil, there could be multiple tiny holes that need to be repaired.

A Refrigerant Line Can Be Repaired Or Replaced

A leak in a refrigerant line can sometimes be repaired by soldering a new piece of copper tubing to replace the damaged section. If one of the coils has several holes, or if the holes can't be found, then one or both coils may need to be replaced, which is an expensive air conditioning repair.

For more info, speak with an air conditioning company.