How to Know if Your AC Refrigerant is Leaking

As spring and summer approach, now is a good time to take stock of how your heating and cooling systems are performing. Warm weather will soon be upon up, and you will want your air conditioning to be functioning at full capacity by the time summer arrives. Paying close attention to your heating and cooling systems is key to the early detection of common problems, such as refrigerant leaks. When identified early, you may be able to avoid costly repairs or outages down the road.

What is your AC refrigerant?

AC units use a chemical compound called refrigerant, which absorbs environmental heat and provides cool air once it is run through compressors and evaporators. This is a key component in your air conditioning unit, and the main item responsible for turning that warmer, humid air in your home into comfortable cool air.

Signs your AC refrigerant is leaking

  • Poor cooling
    Your AC system should be able to keep your home cool, even on the hottest Montana days. If you notice that your AC system is not able to keep up, or if it is blowing warm or hot air, a refrigerant leak is among the most common causes.
  • Humidity indoors
    Montana is not an overly humid place. Additionally, air conditioners should dehumidify the air as the remove the warm air from the indoor space. If there is a refrigerant leak, the air conditioner may not be dehumidifying, leaving your home feeling more humid than it should.
  • Long cycles
    If you notice that your AC unit is taking longer to cool your home or running for longer period of time, this could be a sign of a refrigerant leak.
  • Increased bills
    One of the easiest signs to notice is an increase in your utility or electricity bill. If you notice a dramatic uptick in your electricity bill one month, it could be a sign your air conditioning unit is working longer or harder due to a refridgerant leak.
  • Ice or frozen evaporator coils
    The evaporator coil extracts heat from the home’s air to start the cooling process. If too much moisture stays on the coils, which can happen if there is a refrigerant leak, the coils may freeze. Frozen coils prevent heat transfer, so you’ll feel warm air blowing when your unit should be producing cool air. Additionally, you may see ice on the coils if you open the unit.
  • Unusual noises
    Unusual noises are never good when it comes to HVAC systems. If you hear a bubbling or hissing sound, especially when the machine is not running, it could be a sign of a leak.

There are many signs of refrigerant leaks. These leaks can be caused by overuse, poor ac maintenance, environmental damage or even just time. If you suspect you have a refrigerant leak, contact the team at Central Heating for a professional consultation and a quote for repairs.

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