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How to Spot Refrigerant Leaks

Signs of a Refrigerant Leak 

A chemical substance called refrigerant is a necessary part of air conditioning systems. It is used in climate control because it acts under certain pressures that are common inside an air conditioner. When refrigerant leaks occur, the pressure and volume within the closed refrigerant system drop, leading to several problems. 

Being able to spot a refrigerant leak is important because it can cause discomfort to those in the home, reduced efficiency, and damage to the AC. Here are three common signs of refrigerant leaks so homeowners can react quickly and call for refrigerant leak repair

Frozen Evaporator Coils

frozen coilsEvaporator coils are critical components of air conditioning systems, which absorb heat from the air inside a property to cool it down. These coils contain refrigerant, a fluid essential for the cooling process. However, when there's a refrigerant leak, the pressure inside the coils drops. This decrease in pressure causes the remaining refrigerant to expand more than usual, drastically lowering its temperature. 

Consequently, the extreme cold causes moisture in the air around the coils to freeze, forming ice on the surface of the coils. This not only impairs the efficiency of the HVAC system by reducing the airflow, but it can also lead to more significant damage if not addressed promptly.

Long Cycles or a Lack of Cool Air 

Another sign of refrigerant leaks is longer cycling or a lack of cool air coming from the vents. These signs can take a while to notice because a refrigerant leak is often slow enough that the home will slowly warm up due to the lost cooling power. During this time, the air conditioner will compensate by running longer cycles. 

For a time, the home will remain cool enough due to the extra work of the air conditioner. However, at some point, the refrigerant level will drop low enough that the volume of cool air is no longer sufficient for comfort. The resulting discomfort from the warm, muggy air in the home is noticeable. However, some homeowners may notice the spike in their energy bills before they notice the discomfort and long cooling cycles. 

New and Unusual Sounds 

sounds Refrigerant leaks can also lead to unusual sounds, such as buzzing, hissing, gurgling, or bubbling, due to the nature of the gas and liquid refrigerant moving through the system. These sounds occur when the pressurized refrigerant escapes through cracks or holes in the cooling system's coils or pipes. 

The hissing sound is often caused by gas leaking from a small opening, whereas buzzing, gurgling, or bubbling noises may arise from the refrigerant mixing with air or moisture inside the system, indicating a significant leak. Not only do these sounds signal a problem that could affect the efficiency and performance of an HVAC system, but they also highlight a potential decrease in cooling capacity, leading to discomfort and higher energy costs. Whenever a homeowner notices these signs of leaking refrigerant, they should call a professional to fix it. 

About Honest Abe’s Home Services

Honest Abe’s Home Services is a dependable plumbing, heating, and air conditioning company serving Osage Beach and surrounding areas. They offer flat rate pricing, advanced technology, and 24-hour emergency services. Call them for refrigerant leak repair in Osage Beach, MO