Air conditioners work day in and day out to keep our homes nice, cool and comfy. It is not unheard of for them to act up once in a while. They are machines after all, which will suffer wear and tear due to constant use. A common problem faced by many homeowners is that of Freon leak. But how will you come to know that your AC is leaking Freon? Usually, to confirm this analysis, you will need your AC technician to come and verify it. No matter what, never take Freon leak lightly because it will give rise to efficiency and health issues.
What Is Freon?
Freon is the refrigerant or coolant used in air conditioners to cool the air. Modern-day refrigerants like R-410A (Hydrofluorocarbons) are better than what was being produced earlier (Chlorofluorocarbons), but they are still not wholly environment-friendly.
Why Does Freon Leak Need To Be Taken Seriously?
No matter which class of Freon your AC contains, it is not entirely safe for both the environment and your health. They still result in global warming though not to the same extent. What is not safe for the environment is not safe for mankind as well. Other than that, refrigerant leak dramatically reduces the efficiency of the AC, thereby reducing the cooling effect and increasing the power consumption. Your room will now take longer to cool, and there will be a steep rise in your electricity bills.
Is Your AC Freon Leak?
How to identify an AC leaking Freon? If you are not sure whether your AC is leaking Freon, look for one or more of the below symptoms.
1. Warm Air Coming From AC – The very first sign of a refrigerant leak is that your AC will start blowing warm air into the room even when you have set the temperature to be comfortably cool. This warm air is, in fact, a relative comparison because the air may seem warm in comparison to how cool it used to be earlier for the same temperature setting.
2. Loss In Cooling Efficiency – When there is a refrigerant leak, the room will take much longer to cool, and even then it will not be as expected. Typically, the refrigerant absorbs heat from the air and cools it down. In case of a leak, heat absorption is not adequate due to which the efficiency of the air conditioner falls.
3. Sounds Emanating From The Indoor Unit – Holes and cracks in the coil which hold the refrigerant often result in hissing and gurgling sounds. The bigger the crack, the louder the noise. However, every noise is not an indicator of a Freon leak. Your AC could be making noise due to some other problem as well.
4. Frozen Coils – When there is a drop in the refrigerant circulating in the AC, the coils inside are unable to absorb the heat from the air. In the absence of sufficient heat, the condensation freezes on the coils. At times, this frozen condensation melts and drips on to the floor causing wet spots and water puddles. Frozen coils may seem like a small issue, but if left untreated, it can escalate to compressor failure.
5. Steep Rise In Electricity Bills – As stated above, the time it takes to cool down a room increases in case of an AC leaking Freon. The longer it takes to cool the room, the more power the air conditioner consumes. There happens to be a direct relation between the two. This leads to the conclusion that your electricity bill is bound to increase. If you compare two bills, last years and current years, and see that there is an inconsistent increase in the current bill, it could be an indicator of your AC leaking Freon.
What To Do If You Suspect Refrigerant Leak?
A refrigerant leak should never be taken lightly because it could have detrimental effects on your health as well as those of your family members. It can cause nausea, dizziness, and trouble in breathing. If at any point you suspect that your AC is leaking Freon contact your local HVAC company immediately.
Fixing Refrigerant Leak
The above symptoms may be indicators of Freon leak but not always necessarily so. These symptoms could arise due to a number of other factors as well. Before jumping to any conclusions yourself, get advice from an HVAC expert. Based on their findings, you will either get a confirmation of what you suspect, or they could point you in the right direction.
Once you are sure “AC leaking Freon” is the culprit you need to decide whether refilling the refrigerant and repairing the point of leak is your chosen course of action. Ideally, if your AC is more than a decade old and uses R-22 refrigerant, the best course of action would be to buy a new AC. If your AC is new, you can go ahead with repairs on the coil so that there are no further leaks and top up the refrigerant to the recommended level.
Who Should Carry Out The Repairs
Your AC is an expensive piece of equipment and needs to be handled with care. It is recommended that you do not carry out any repairs on your own. This is basically to ensure that instead of mitigating the problem, you do not propagate it. Remember, professional help is just a call away. These professionals are not only qualified but also have the right equipment to resolve all your HVAC problems.
Finding out whether your AC is leaking Freon is not a big issue. But do get a certified professional to confirm your findings. It is mainly because what you think to be a refrigerant leak could also be something else. Remember your safety, and that of your family should take precedence over all others, and that is why we provide emergency help 24/7 for any suspected refrigerant leaks in Palm Springs, Florida.