5 Signs of a Refrigerant Leak in Your Air Conditioner
It’s a beautiful summer day, the sun is shining, the birds are chirping, the children are running through the sprinklers, and your air conditioner is blowing hot air…what a bummer. One common problem when your AC is blowing warm air is a refrigerant leak. Since the refrigerant is in a closed system, the only reason a system would be running low on refrigerant would be either it was undercharged during installation, or you have a leak. It does not deplete due to normal use, so it should not need to be refilled regularly.
1. Your Home Takes a Long Time to Cool
The term refrigerant refers to the chemical blend that cycles through the air conditioner absorbing heat and carrying it outside; it used to be commonly referred to as Freon, but only older systems would contain Freon because the EPA banned it due to its negative effect on the ozone layer. Today’s newer systems run on R410a (sometimes called Puron). Either way, if your home is taking a long time to cool, it could mean the refrigerant is running low.
2. Rising Energy Bills
As a result of the AC taking longer to cool down the house due to a refrigerant leak, you may see an increase in the cost of your energy bill. Refrigerant leaks cause your AC to work harder and longer. It will keep running and running but never reach the desired temperature.
3. Warm Air Coming from Vents
On a hot summer day, warm air blowing out of the vents in your house is the worst. Since refrigerant is responsible for absorbing heat and carrying it outside, when it leaks, the heat is not carried outside and the warm air blows into the house.
4. Frozen Evaporator Coils on Inside Unit, Ice on Outdoor Unit’s Line
Believe it or not air conditioners can freeze, although they are not supposed to. Low refrigerant can cause two parts of your AC unit to freeze. First is the evaporator coil, which is located in the indoor unit. Second, if the leak is large enough, the refrigerant lines leading to your outdoor unit will freeze. If either one of these parts of your AC are frozen, you definitely have a problem with your refrigerant.
5. Hissing or Bubbling Noise
If the leak is large enough, you will be able to hear it leaking out the refrigerant lines in either gas or liquid form. This tends to make a bubbling noise if it is liquid, and a hissing noise if it is gas.
The refrigerant is a potentially dangerous substance that should always be handled by a professional. This is not a problem that you should attempt to fix yourself.
Think Your Air Conditioner Needs to Be Replaced?
No problem! Replace your struggling air conditioner with a quality Lennox Home Comfort System. Be sure to check out check out these great deals from Lennox!