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Roadrunner Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing Blog

What You Need to Know about AC Refrigerant Leaks

technician-with-refrigerant-canister

There are many components in an air conditioner. As the name implies, the refrigerant is the substance that actually does the work of refrigerating, or cooling your home. It cycles between condensing into a liquid and evaporating into a gas, carrying heat from your home and releasing it outdoors. It’s important for it to remain in the system to do this job. But what if it leaks? 

A refrigerant leak can lead to a wide variety of problems. It’s important to recognize when you have a leak in your AC system and have it addressed promptly. Here are some signs that can help you tell when a leak has developed, and some information about the steps you need to take to prevent that leak from causing a cascading series of other problems.

Indications of a Refrigerant Leak

There are three major things to look for when assessing whether there is a refrigerant leak in your AC system: noise, cost, and performance. Listen: is there a hiss, bubble, or trickle happening somewhere inside your air conditioner?

Check your utility bills: has there been an increase in your energy costs even though you’re using your air conditioner the same amount? And pay attention to when your air conditioner cycles on and off: are the cycles shorter than they used to be? Any of these things could indicate a refrigerant leak, so you should look into AC repair in Los Alamos, NM.

Risks of a Refrigerant Leak

An air conditioner trying to run with less refrigerant than it should contain—and less and less as a leak continues—will be working harder and achieving less. This means your home won’t be staying as cool as it did before, and some rooms may have hot spots as the cool air fails to reach them.

It also means your utility bills will increase, which is a steep price to pay for less benefit. And as the system struggles to keep functioning, there will be additional strain on other components of the air conditioner. One of these is the compressor, which pumps the refrigerant through the coils. It is the most expensive component to replace (sometimes it’s more cost-effective just to buy a new AC unit) so you really don’t want to put unnecessary strain on it.

Solutions to a Refrigerant Leak

Refrigerant is a chemical substance that poses safety risks if handled improperly. The only safe way to address a refrigerant leak is with the help of a professional technician.

Our team is licensed to handle refrigerant safely, and experienced with diagnosing the cause of air conditioner malfunctions. We’re committed to finding a solution that will keep you and your family at a comfortable temperature. And the sooner you schedule maintenance and repairs for your air conditioner, the lower the risk of small problems turning into big ones.

Contact us today to schedule repairs or with any questions about your air conditioner.

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