If there is one problem that homeowners really don’t want to encounter with their air conditioning systems, it is the refrigerant leak. Of course, not every homeowner is aware of this! Considering just how vital a role refrigerant plays in your air conditioning system, it should go without saying that a refrigerant leak is a major point of concern. Not sure precisely what we’re talking about? That’s fine, because it’s the focus of today’s post!
Before we go any further, let us clarify that we are not out to alarm you for no reason. Just because you experience some of the symptoms that we mention in this post does not mean that you definitely have a refrigerant leak—and that’s precisely the point. It takes a trained professional not just to resolve refrigerant leak issues, but to diagnose them accurately to begin with. When it comes to problems with air conditioning in Fort Wayne, IN, ours is the team that you want to work with.
What Is Refrigerant, Exactly?
Refrigerant is the heat transfer fluid in your air conditioning system (or heat pump). Refrigerant is able to change from a liquid to a gas and back again with ease, which makes it a very effective heat transfer medium. With an air conditioner (or a heat pump in cooling mode), the refrigerant in the system evaporates in the indoor “evaporator” coil—aptly named, isn’t it?
As the refrigerant evaporates, it pulls heat out of the air passing through the coil. That heat is released outdoors as the refrigerant is condensed in the outdoor “condenser” coil, and the cooled air is then distributed throughout the house via the ductwork. This process is simply repeated until your desired indoor temperatures are met.
What Does a Refrigerant Leak Lead To?
A lot of trouble, unfortunately. If you have a refrigerant leak, you may notice that:
- Your AC blows warm air. If there is not enough refrigerant in the air conditioner, then the system is going to struggle to remove a sufficient amount of heat out of the air in your home. That seriously reduces its ability to cool your home down to a comfortable temperature.
- Your energy bills spike. If you ask, the only thing worse than living in subpar comfort due to an underperforming air conditioner is overpaying for that discomfort! The harder that your air conditioner has to work due to its low refrigerant charge, the more energy you are going to use in cooling your home. That means you’ll be paying more for less comfort.
- Your air conditioner short cycles. If your air conditioner is running in short bursts, you may just need to change a very dirty air filter that is creating too much airflow resistance. If that’s not the case, however, a refrigerant leak is definitely a real possibility.
- Your air conditioner breaks down entirely. Run an air conditioner that is low on refrigerant for long enough, and it will start to ice over as the coil gets to cold. Keep pushing it, and you may damage your system irrevocably.