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Air Conditioning FAQ: Do I Have a Refrigerant Leak?

AC-technician-at-workLet us start by saying that any problems with your air conditioner should be resolved promptly. When you live in as hot and humid a climate as we do, the term “minor” air conditioning problem does not belong in your vocabulary. But there are problems that can prove more problematic than others. Case in point: the refrigerant leak. Refrigerant leaks have many different symptoms, and not all seem that serious at first. Given time, though, real damage can be done.

In this post, you’ll learn how it is that refrigerant works in your air conditioning system, as well some warning signs are that you have a refrigerant leak. That way, you can enjoy dependable air conditioning in Acworth, GA without letting this problem spiral out of control. Remember to contact us at the first sign of trouble with your system. 

What Does Refrigerant Do?

Refrigerant is the heat transfer fluid that your air conditioner uses to remove heat from the air in your home. In other words, your air conditioner would not be able to cool your home at all if it did not have refrigerant. Refrigerant is not consumed the way that gasoline in a car is, either, so low refrigerant levels mean that your system was either not charged sufficiently at the time of installation, or you have a leak. If we installed your AC, then chances are you have a leak–we always charge our installations right!

Your air conditioner has two coils: the evaporator coil and the condenser coil. The evaporator coil is in the indoor unit, and is the point at which refrigerant evaporates and draws heat out of the air passing over the coil. Once it has done so, it makes its way to the condenser coil in the outdoor AC unit. There, it is condensed. This allows its heat to dissipate into the air outside.

What Does a Refrigerant Leak Look Like?

Chances are that you will notice the signs of a refrigerant leak. The key is to make the association between the two. Here are some of the more common symptoms to look out for.

  • Lower cooling output. Is your air conditioner blowing out air that doesn’t feel as cool as it should? That could be due to low levels of refrigerant that prevent it from functioning as effectively as it should.
  • Higher operating costs. Your air conditioner must work harder than to cool your home if it does not have the right amount of refrigerant. This leads to increased energy consumption.
  • Strange hissing sounds. When you walk by either of the air conditioning units, do you hear a hissing? Refrigerant operates under pressure, so if there is a leak in a refrigerant line or coil, you may be able to hear the refrigerant escaping.

Continuing to run an air conditioner that is low on refrigerant can cause overheating, short cycling, and even compressor failure. When you get to that point, an air conditioning replacement is going to be necessary. Trust us, it’s definitely best to deal with refrigerant leaks as soon as possible.

Let Moody Heating and Air Conditioning handle your air conditioning repair services. 

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