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What a Refrigerant Leak Means for Your AC

aid-conditioning-coilsWhen you run your air conditioner, does it fail to cool the room? Do you also hear a sound like hissing or gurgling? It might be a refrigerant leak.

In order for your AC to operate properly, it needs to be full of refrigerant at all times. If that refrigerant begins to leak, your AC will no longer be able to cool your home properly.

Above all, it means that your AC needs immediate attention, so make sure to pick up the phone and be ready to call an expert of HVAC in Boston, MA. Other than that, it can also mean a few other things.

It means that you have pinhole leaks

First, it’s worth noting that some refrigerant leaks can be the result of a bad installation or repair. This type of mistake can easily slip by if your HVAC contractor neglects to do a thorough test of your system.

In most cases, though, refrigerant leaks are often due to pinhole leaks. Over time, the coils in your air conditioner can degrade and create tiny holes. Pinhole leaks are also called “champagne leaks” since they can sometimes create tiny bubbles.

The cause of pinhole leaks is often a combination of acids and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the air. VOCs come from household products like aerosols, air fresheners, and adhesives, so it’s no surprise that pinhole leaks happen most often in the indoor AC unit.

It means your home won’t get cool

That’s right. A refrigerant leak will easily prevent your air conditioner from doing the one job you installed it to do in the first place: cooling your home.

When the leak first occurs, it might not make a substantial difference in your cooling power, but it will only get worse as time goes on.

Why? This is because the refrigerant plays an essential role in transferring warm and cold air through your home. Refrigerant cycles through the machine’s coils in a constant cycle of condensation and evaporation. This process is what removes heat from your home and sends it outside, leaving your rooms nice and cool.

As soon as a leak appears and begins to remove refrigerant from the coils, it becomes harder for your AC to complete that cycle. If it keeps up for too long, the AC won’t be able to cool your home.

It could mean frozen evaporator coils

If your AC has stopped blowing cold air but you continue to run the machine, you’ll only create more trouble for your machine. Refrigerant leaks gone unchecked will eventually lead to frozen coils, which will only exacerbate problems in your AC.

If you inspect your indoor unit to find frost forming on your coils, your best bet is to turn off the air conditioner right away and to call a professional. While you wait for the repairman to arrive, refrain from chipping off the ice, as that can cause damage to the coils.

Have you sprung a leak? Contact Cooling Unlimited to find out how we can meet your unique heating and cooling needs!

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