When a refrigeration system has a leak, it reduces the unit’s efficiency, leading to higher energy bills and reduced product quality. In addition, if the leak goes undetected for too long, it can cause costly damage. For example, a leaking compressor can cause a huge blowout of refrigerant, leading to expensive repairs. In some cases, it may even lead to an explosion. That’s why it’s important to have your equipment checked regularly by a professional technician.
Refrigerant leaks are one of a home’s or business’ most common HVAC problems. Unfortunately, when you have a refrigerant leak, your air conditioner won’t seem to cool your home as well as it did before.
The problem may seem minor initially, but if left unchecked, it can lead to more serious issues. The issues could include inefficient systems and higher energy bills. In addition, refrigerant leaks can also cause mold growth and other health problems when the gas escapes into your home’s air supply.
If you suspect that your HVAC system has a leak but do not know how to find it or fix it yourself, contact an HVAC company for help!
During the hot months of the Vegas summer and fall, HVAC systems are wearing down. For frequent and long stretches of time, these units quietly work in the background providing the building or home with the cool or warm air the occupants need and desire. Then, subtle signs start to manifest themselves that something is amiss with the unit. For example, the cycles last longer. A slight rise in noise and perhaps an alternating drone announces its presence. These are a few signs that the HVAC unit may have a refrigerant leak.
What is Refrigerant?
Refrigerant is used in your HVAC system to keep your home warm or cool. It’s an important part of your system, and it’s essential that you keep it in good working order. Refrigerant is a vital component in an air conditioner. Without it, the unit will not work properly. Air conditioners will not perform optimally unless the unit is fully charged.
The following are some of the ways a low refrigerant level can affect your household:
- Considerable Decrease in Unit Life
- The presence of higher Energy Bills
- Unit running on longer Cycle Times
- Unit Cannot Keep Up With Demands
These conditions will result in a bloated budget and a warmer house.
HVAC professionals are vital in determining what type of refrigerant the unit is charged with. Catastrophic results can affect the building and the people in it if different types of refrigerants are mixed. In addition, leak seeking can begin once the proper refrigerant is determined and obtained.
Leak seeking is a talent honed by years of experience. The coils, valve, and access port are all possible locations for refrigerant exposure to the open atmosphere. Once found, an on-site repair can be done. These professionals have the know-how to rapidly obtain a new part, replace it, and charge the entire unit. The turnaround time is minimal with a quality HVAC service company.
A refrigerant leak is a risk to the comfort in the building and the health of your budget.
What Are the Dangers of Having a Refrigerant Leak During Autumn or Winter?
If you have a refrigerant leak during the fall or winter, you may be at risk of running out of refrigerant before spring. This can be extremely dangerous, as your HVAC unit will not be able to keep up with your home’s heating and cooling needs during these seasons.
It is important to contact an HVAC professional immediately if you notice any signs of a refrigerant leak, such as a hissing sound.
If you have a refrigerant leak during fall or winter, you could be putting yourself and your family at risk. An older house or apartment building with central heating is at the most risk. If there’s not enough refrigerant in your system, it can’t do its job of maintaining the temperature in your home. That means your furnace won’t be able to heat up when it gets cold outside, which can be dangerous for those sensitive to extreme temperatures.
Additionally, if there’s too much refrigerant in the system, there isn’t enough space for air circulation. Lack of air circulation can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning!
Refrigerant leaks can be dangerous for your home’s HVAC system. During fall or winter, when the outside temperature is lower than inside, the refrigerant will escape from the leak and be replaced by cold air from outside. This causes a dramatic drop in indoor temperature, leading to discomfort.
If you notice your indoor temperature is unusually low, it’s best to contact a professional immediately. Don’t try to fix the problem yourself!
Refrigerant leaks can lead to the following dangers:
- The most common danger of a refrigerant leak is the refrigerant will escape into the atmosphere. This can be very harmful to the environment, as it’s a potent greenhouse gas, and it can also cause damage to your home’s HVAC system.
- Refrigerant leaks can also cause fire hazards, especially if left unchecked for long periods.
- They can cause your system to lose efficiency, which means it won’t cool or heat as well and will use more energy. This can end up costing you more money in the long run.
- If the leak is large enough, it can cause your system to fail altogether.
Symptoms of a Leak:
- You smell gas around your HVAC system
- The air from the vents feels warm or hot (it shouldn’t!)
- Your outdoor unit is excessively dirty and needs to be cleaned
- You get an error message or warning light on the thermostat
- Your heat pump runs but does not cool or heat your home
- The temperature in your home is warmer than it should be, even when the thermostat is set to a lower temperature
- The air conditioner or heater is making a lot of noise
- You notice that your thermostat is set to a higher temperature than usual
- There are high electric bills during the winter or summer months
- The air smells stuffy and musty inside your home
The Most Common Signs of a Leak:
- The temperature of your home is inconsistent. This is one of the most common signs of HVAC refrigerant leakage. If you notice your home’s temperature fluctuates significantly from room to room, you may have a problem with your HVAC system.
- You smell a faint odor in your home when it’s not running. If you notice a strange odor coming from your AC or heat pump, it could be because of refrigerant leaks. Refrigerants are odorous and can seep into the air over time if they’re leaking out of your system.
- You hear strange noises from your AC or heat pump when it’s running or while it’s off but still plugged in and turned on standby mode (if applicable).
Unusual noises coming from your AC or heat pump while running would include:
- popping sounds
These noises could mean something has gone wrong with its internal components and needs immediate attention before further damage occurs to other parts.
What Are the Different Ways You Can Check for Refrigerant Leaks?
There are several different ways that you can check for refrigerant leaks.
You can start by looking at your HVAC unit’s condenser coils. The condenser coils are the part of your system that removes heat from the air inside your home. They then transfer the heat to the outside air.
If there is a leak in your system, then you may be able to see signs of it by looking at the condenser coils:
- If they’re wet and dirty, this may mean a problem with your system.
- If they’re covered in frost or ice, this could be another problem with your unit.
It’s also possible to look for leaks around the hoses that connect your outdoor compressor with its indoor fan motor.
You’ll want to check all around these connections, including:
- where they connect to each other
- where they connect to any other components in your system (such as the indoor blowers)
Be mindful of the whole system by checking the following:
- If you see oil coming out of any connection points or fittings, this could indicate that something is wrong with those connections or fittings (or both). Check your compressor for any signs of leakage. For example, if you see oil leaking from under the compressor, this could be a sign of a leak.
- Be sure to notice any cracks in rubber hoses.
- Check the gauge on your unit. If it is low, you know there is a leak somewhere. This will vary depending on the size of your unit and how much refrigerant it uses.
- Check around doors and windows for any signs of moisture or condensation. This can indicate there is a leak somewhere in the system. It will need to be fixed before it becomes worse and causes damage to other parts or components within your HVAC system or home!
What To Do If You Find Out Your Refrigerant Is Leaking?
If you see any signs of a leak or smell anything unusual, shut off the power to your air conditioner at the fuse box or circuit breaker panel as soon as possible. You should also call an HVAC technician to repair it as soon as possible. This type of leak can be dangerous for both people and animals if left untreated for too long!
Make sure all of the doors in your home are closed. If there is an open door near your AC unit, close it immediately. This will help prevent leaks from spreading to other rooms in your house.
We know the last thing you want to do is have to get your air conditioning unit repaired. If you discover that your refrigerant is leaking, it’s important to act quickly.
Here’s what to do if you find out that your refrigerant is leaking: Call The Cooling Company right away! We’ll come out and inspect your system, pinpoint the problem as quickly as possible, and fix it for you.
We also offer maintenance contracts for customers who want a new system but aren’t ready to install it yet.
Here are some examples of what we offer:
- Diagnostics of existing systems
- Installation of new systems
- Maintenance contracts for existing systems
- Money back guarantee
If you notice a leak in your HVAC system and want to have it repaired or replaced, call us today at (702) 819-6459 to schedule an appointment!