Is There a Refrigerant Leak in Your Air Conditioning System?

Once the cooling season comes to an end, it is about time to assess and check the overall performance of your air conditioning system. It isn’t something you think about during the days of summer, but every now and then, keeping tabs of the performance of your system is the secret to detect common problems early on, including refrigerant leaks.

The refrigerant of your air condition constantly receives high pressure, and those lines containing this refrigerant degrade after some time. Once a leak forms in your system, you have to patch the leak and recharge your refrigerant. Depending on the severity of the leak, it can get quite expensive to recharge your system.

It is the reason why it is a must to have annual tune-ups of your air conditioning system. Through routine pressure tests and inspections, you will be able to identify issues such as refrigerant leaks as soon as possible. However, when you know what signs to watch out for, you can catch a leak if you are between tune-ups.

Below are the six common signs of refrigerant leaks in your air conditioning system:

Humid Indoor Air

ACs dehumidify when they eliminate warm air from indoor spaces. If there is a refrigerant leak, the dehumidifying ability of the AC is equally compromised like its cooling ability.

Poor Cooling

When your system suddenly fails to keep up during the day’s hottest hours, a refrigerant leak is one of the most common culprits.

Long Cooling Cycles

Although you might not notice that your AC lags several degrees behind the thermostat setting, that sound of air that moves through the vents can make it easier for you to notice if there are abnormally long cooling cycles. These longer cycles of cooling are a sure sign of a possible leak in the refrigerant.

Higher Utility Bills

When the symptoms mentioned above didn’t catch your attention for a whole month, you might notice a red flag in your next electricity bill. The longer cycles and inefficient cooling brought about by low refrigerant might cause a spike in your electric meter.

Hissing or Bubbling Sound

When you hear such sounds coming from the outdoor unit even if it is not running, this is often a sign of a refrigerant leak.


Ice Formed on Evaporator Coils

A few of the surest telltale signs of refrigerant leak can be seen on the outdoor AC unit. When you notice frosty ice crystals that form on the evaporator coil of the unit in spite of hot weather, it is time for you to call in a technician.

There are refrigerant leaks which can result from overdue maintenance or environmental damage. However, even a properly maintained system can also form a leak after some time. If your air conditioning system has started to leak refrigerant as the result of old age, it makes financial sense to recharge and patch it just this once, although it is also a warning sign that it’s time to replace your system next season.

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