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Oh No! Is This a Refrigerant Leak?

AC-technician-workingLook, we get it. Your air conditioner started up, and it is cooling your home. You don’t really want to—nor do you have the time to—think much more about it than that. The fact of the matter is, however, that even potentially serious problems with your air conditioning system may take a while to really prove symptomatic. It is always best to give your air conditioner a little bit of extra attention before you wind up being caught off-guard by problems with your system.

Today, we are going to be taking the refrigerant leak into consideration. A refrigerant leak is truly one of the most serious problems that you may face with your home cooling system. It can also be a tricky one to identify. One thing is certain, though. If left untreated, that refrigerant leak is going to wind up causing you some major headaches—or even spelling the premature demise of your AC system! If you suspect a refrigerant leak, then you need AC repairs in Lynnwood, WA immediately.

Your AC’s Performance Requires a Proper Refrigerant Charge

It does not really make sense to get into how much your air conditioner needs its refrigerant if you do not first understand how refrigerant works in the system. It is not like gasoline in a car. It is not consumed at all, and it is recycled throughout the system over and over again. In this respect it bears a much closer resemblance to the oil in your car, but without the need for routine changes.

Okay, so it’s not a fuel. What does it do, then? Well, your system uses refrigerant in order to remove heat from the air in your home. Specifically, the refrigerant in the system evaporates in the evaporator coil. As it does, it removes heat from the air passing over that coil. The cooled air is redistributed throughout the house, while the warmed up refrigerant makes its way out to the condenser coil.  There, it is condensed and its heat is dispersed into the air outside.  This cycle repeats over and over until desired temperatures are met.

What Does a Leak Look Like?

When your car has an oil leak, you’ll see that slick in the driveway when you move your car. This is not the case with a refrigerant leak. You may hear it, though! We’re talking about a gas under pressure here, so you could potentially hear it escaping from a leak in the system. You’ll also likely notice that your system is really struggling to cool your home effectively, even though it used to do so just fine.

Ice developing on the evaporator coil is another common sign of a refrigerant leak, and you may see water surrounding the unit as that ice melts off.  The system may also overheat, causing it to run in short bursts before cycling back down and then back on.  This is called short cycling,  and it places a lot of unnecessary strain on the system.

Schedule your AC repairs with G & S Heating Cooling & Electric.

 

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