One of the biggest responsibilities of a homeowner is to ensure that your air conditioning unit is maintained regularly. This is the best way to keep it in good condition throughout its effective lifespan. While some maintenance tasks like cleaning can be done on your own, you still need a heating and air condition service technician for more thorough inspections. This is required by your warranty, after all, and should be done at least once a year.
Only a trained technician can identify and troubleshoot any issue found in your unit during routine maintenance to prevent more damage and costly repairs down the road. Of course, that doesn’t mean it isn’t necessary to understand how your AC works. Even if it’s professionally managed, it still helps to learn how to spot an issue should it appear unexpectedly.
How Your Air Conditioner Works
Installed in almost three out of four homes across the country, air conditioners have become a part of our culture and lifestyle since the early twentieth century. They’re especially useful during the end of spring and throughout summer to keep homes cool and comfy to beat the hot weather. To do this, they use refrigerant to absorb the heat from the compressors and evaporators to turn the hot outdoor air into cool air before pumping it indoors.
To keep your air conditioner in peak condition, the refrigerant has to be pressurized at all times. There shouldn’t be any leaks around or underneath the system while in use. But if your unit seems fine while turned on, yet it isn’t blowing as much cool air as it should, there may be a hidden leak somewhere within. If its cooling capability seems compromised, you might have a refrigerant leak that should be addressed by your local air condition service contractor.
What Happens to Your AC During a Refrigerant Leak?
A refrigerant leak means your unit’s compressors and evaporators are unable to absorb the heat from the outdoor air. And when it can’t produce cold air properly, the loss of pressure from the low refrigerant levels can overheat the components and lead to additional problems for your unit. You won’t have enough cooling power to keep your home comfy as it becomes hot and stuffy despite putting it on full blast. You’ll end up consuming more energy than necessary with hardly any difference in providing more comfort to your home.
Why Your Unit Should Be Recharged
Most AC units are typically designed to not need charges throughout their serviceable lifespan. However, unexpected refrigerant leaks can happen depending on the circumstances. If this is the case with your AC system, you’ll notice it almost immediately as it causes a significant loss of pressure. If this isn’t addressed properly, your unit won’t have sufficient refrigerant necessary to provide cool air to your home.
If you somehow pinpoint the source of the refrigerant leaks in your unit, don’t attempt to make the repairs yourself. Even if you have the basic equipment necessary for a recharge, only an experienced HVAC repair technician will know just how much your unit needs. Doing it on your own will also void the manufacturer’s warranty if it’s still intact, so you’re better off leaving it to the professionals instead. And with the reliable maintenance services offered at EZ Air Conditioning and Heating, you won’t have to worry about your leaking unit. We make sure to identify and repair the source of your refrigerant leak so that there won’t be any future problems after getting a recharge
Telltale Signs of a Refrigerant Leak
- Visible leaks: If you notice greasy film underneath your AC unit, that’s a big sign that you have a refrigerant leak. Finding and fixing the source of the leak won’t be easy and is never recommended; you’re more likely to cause more damage and break the warranty. Instead, make sure to call your trusted technicians to address the issue immediately. They’ll know how to properly seal the leak and recharge your unit with the right amount of refrigerant.
- Hissing noises: If you don’t see any visible leaks and observe that your AC unit is running fine, listen closely for any type of hissing or bubbling sound. This is often a sign of a refrigerant leak, and it can’t be easily fixed on your own because it’s somewhere within your AC unit. In this case, it’s better to let the HVAC professionals handle the inspection and repairs. They’ll also look for any other problems and address them immediately so that they won’t cause further damage later on.
- Compromised cooling: This is when your unit’s refrigeration becomes too low to cool the air blown out of your unit even if it’s set to the lowest possible temperature. This type of issue will only force your unit to consume more energy and may even lead to frequent breakdowns. To avoid this, make sure to work with a professional technician to resolve the problem.
- Thermostat settings: Sometimes, the reason why your AC unit isn’t providing enough cool air is that the thermostat is set at the wrong temperature. But if you switch it to auto and hardly feel any temperature difference, it can either be due to a refrigerant leak, or you have a faulty thermostat. Make sure to call in a professional air condition repair technician to check and determine the source of the problem.
How Professionals Address the Refrigerant Leak
If the source of your refrigerant leak is just a small hole, it can still be soldered and sealed by a technician. Once it’s properly recharged, your AC unit should be running at peak efficiency, and your home is efficiently cooled once more. But depending on the type of leak and whether parts are also affected, a full replacement may be more cost-effective. It may also be better if you’ve already recharged your unit several times before, even after locating and sealing the supposed source of the leak.
As a reliable heating and air condition service company in and around San Antonio, TX, EZ Air Conditioning and Heating know how to get the job done professionally. We strive to stay abreast of all the latest developments in the HVAC industry, and we differentiate ourselves through superior performance. Call us today at (210) 429-9186, or fill out this contact form to schedule an HVAC evaluation. We look forward to hearing from you!