Is Your AC Refrigerant Leaking?


An efficient air conditioning unit is critical for a comfortable and healthy space during hot weather. However, your AC is only as efficient and reliable as its components. And among the key elements that keep your AC in check is the refrigerant.

Leaky refrigerant will compromise the cooling efficiency of your AC, and failure to rectify the issue on time may cause extensive damage to your AC. Discover some signs of refrigerant leaks to help you take prompt action.

Ice Buildup on AC Coils

The refrigerant absorbs heat from the air inside your home and releases the hot air outside. Therefore, if the refrigerant leaks, the pressure inside the AC will drop, and heat transfer won’t be as effective. Consequently, you’ll notice that the air conditioner coils have ice buildup.

Nonetheless, note that other issues may cause the AC coils to freeze.

Restricted Airflow

Your AC needs sufficient air to blow over the coils and facilitate heat transfer. The coils will freeze if the airflow is restricted, perhaps due to a dirty filter, clogged vents, or closed registers.

Faulty Fan

The blower fan circulates air over the coils to help in heat transfer. A faulty blower fan will, therefore, prevent proper heat absorption, which will eventually lead to freezing AC coils.

Malfunctioning Thermostat

Your AC thermostat regulates the temperature of the space by turning the system on and off. If the thermostat fails or doesn’t sense the correct temperature, your AC may run longer than necessary, leading to freezing coils.

If you notice ice buildup around your air conditioning coils, don’t automatically assume that a refrigerant leak is the culprit. Instead, contact an HVAC professional to inspect the system and identify the real issue.

Strange Hissing Noise

If your AC suddenly starts to produce hissing sounds, a refrigerant leak is the most probable cause. The reason is that, as the refrigerant leaks, it escapes through the tiniest of openings in the system, creating a hissing noise.

Other than a leaky refrigerant, issues such as loose bolts, faulty gaskets, or open valves may cause your AC to produce strange noises. Therefore, don’t try to fix the problem on your own. Instead, have a professional HVAC contractor inspect your unit and identify the real issue.

Unusually High Energy Bills

Your monthly energy bills will increase if your AC doesn’t operate as efficiently as it should. The reason is that a refrigerant leak will reduce the system’s ability to transfer heat, which makes the AC run for long hours.

Other than a faulty refrigerant, issues such as an old and inefficient AC unit, poor insulation, and closed vents may also increase energy consumption. As such, don’t ignore high energy bills. Instead, call a professional to inspect your AC and help you discover the real problem.

Warm Air From Vents

If you notice that the air coming from the vents is not as cold as it used to be, your refrigerant might have a leak. Refrigerant leaks reduce pressure inside the AC, making it difficult for the system to cool air effectively. Consequently, you may notice longer cooling cycles, or the air conditioning unit may fail to cool the space altogether.

Other than a refrigerant leak, issues such as a faulty blower fan or an obstructed air duct may also compromise the quality of air from the vents.

A refrigerant leak is a severe problem, but the good news is that, with prompt action, you can avoid extensive damage to your AC unit.

Steele Brothers Heating, Inc., is a reliable HVAC contractor with extensive experience in AC repair and maintenance. If you notice any of the above signs, don’t hesitate to contact us for timely and professional assistance. In addition, we’ll inspect your AC unit for other underlying issues and fix the problems before they escalate.

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Steele Brothers Heating Inc