AC Unit Leaking Refrigerant? Here's How To Tell

AC Unit Leaking Refrigerant? Here's How To Tell

In order to operate properly, an AC system relies on an ample quantity of refrigerant. In an AC system, refrigerant serves the important purpose of absorbing and releasing heat in order to cool the air in your home. Unfortunately, leaks can develop over time due to cracks or holes in the coils that circulate the refrigerant, which prevents this key duty from being accomplished. If a leak occurs, it must be immediately identified and stopped before it does further damage to your system. Do you think that you might have an AC unit leaking refrigerant? Here’s how to tell.

The Air From Your System Is Warmer Than Usual

When an AC system has low levels of refrigerant, it can’t efficiently cool the air inside of your home. Rather than releasing cold air, the AC system will likely release lukewarm or warm air. Thus, if your AC system starts releasing warmer air than usual—and you haven’t increased the temperature setting on the system—there’s a good chance that your unit has a refrigerant leak.

The Evaporator Coils On Your AC System Froze

Frosty evaporator coils on your AC system are another way to tell if your AC unit is leaking refrigerant. While evaporator coils can freeze for a number of reasons, a refrigerant leak is one of the most prominent. When an AC system doesn’t have enough refrigerant to absorb heat from the air that blows over the evaporator coils, condensation can build up on top of them. Overtime, such condensation will likely freeze on the coils due to their cold surface.

Unusually High Electricity Bills

Unusually high electricity bills often indicate something is wrong inside of your household. In some cases, leaking refrigerant in your AC system is to blame. When a refrigerant leak occurs, your AC system won’t absorb heat or release cool air efficiently. As a result, the system must work harder to cool your home to the desired temperature. Because AC systems are one of the largest consumers of electricity in most households, the increased amount of power your system consumes will cause your electric bill to trend upwards.

Strange Noises

Strange noises are rarely a good sign when coming from an appliance. If you hear any jingling or hissing noises coming from your AC system, you may have a refrigerant leak on your hands. Refrigerant leaks often occur due to tiny holes in the refrigerant line of an AC system. As the refrigerant leaks out of these little holes, a hissing noise generally occurs. During the cooling cycle, a jingling noise may also occur if the unit doesn't have an ample amount of refrigerant. If you notice either of these noises, consider getting your system checked out by a professional.

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