With summer temperatures being as hot as they are in our area, it goes without saying that you need a great performance from your home cooling system. A great performance is a complete impossibility if that cooling system has a refrigerant leak, though. There are a lot of different problems that may develop with your AC in Fort Wayne, IN, but a refrigerant leak is one of the most serious. Why? Because a lot of homeowners don’t know the warning signs.
If left unaddressed for too long, a refrigerant leak can cause serious comfort issues in your home, but it won’t stop there. Let it go even longer, and your system could be damaged beyond repair! We’re not telling you this to try and scare you. We just want you to understand what’s at risk when a refrigerant leak goes unresolved. We also want you to understand what warning signs your AC might give you if it should spring a leak!
Cooling Is Contingent Upon the Refrigerant Cycle
A heater like a furnace or a boiler generates new heat by burning a fuel or using electric resistance. An air conditioner, on the other hand, doesn’t “create new coolness.” We don’t even know what that would mean! No, an air conditioner simply cools the air that is already in the house, and then redistributes that cooled air back throughout the house. And at the heart of this process is the refrigerant cycle.
Refrigerant absorbs heat as it evaporates in the indoor evaporator coil. The air passing through the coil is cooled, and the hot refrigerant then cycles outdoors to the condenser unit. There, the refrigerant is condensed. This allows it to release its heat into the air outside. The cycle continues on and on until the desired temperature in your home is met, and that temperature is maintained from there.
What Happens with a Refrigerant Leak?
If your system is low on refrigerant, it can really only mean one of two things. It wasn’t charged right at the time of manufacture, which is incredibly uncommon, or your system has developed a leak. Refrigerant is not consumed the way that gas in a car is, but is instead cycled through a closed system over and over. If you do have a refrigerant leak, it won’t be long before you start seeing the effects that the problem can have.
- Increased cooling costs, as the system struggles to remove heat from the home effectively.
- Decreased cooling output, meaning that you’ll soon be overpaying for an underwhelming performance!
- Short cycling, as the system overheats in its struggle to cool your home.
- Ice buildup on the coil/refrigerant lines, further impeding the cooling process.
Again, you cannot afford to ignore these signs of trouble—literally! If you do, then you run the risk of doing irreversible damage to your system. Contact us at the very first sign of a refrigerant leak. Your comfort is too important to put at risk.