Air conditioners rely on refrigerant to remove heat from indoor air. It’s a common myth that refrigerant will eventually expire or run out. Since AC systems are closed systems, their refrigerant levels shouldn’t run out until the end of their lifespans. If your AC unit’s refrigerant level is running low, this means your unit was either undercharged or has a leak.
What Are the Warning Signs of a Refrigerant Leak?
If you notice any of the aforementioned warning signs, don’t hesitate to consult your local HVAC maintenance contractor.
How Refrigerant Leaks Are Detected
Your HVAC technician will usually start by inspecting your HVAC unit’s evaporator coils, condenser coils and refrigerant line sets. That’s because refrigerant leaks are usually found in these components.
Here’s an overview of how refrigerant leaks form in these components:
- Evaporator coils – While your air conditioner is running, the tubes in the evaporator coils vibrate. These vibrations may cause some of the tubes to rub against each other, which over time could create refrigerant leaks.
- Condenser coils – Condenser coils also vibrate while the air conditioner is running. When the condenser coils vibrate, the tubular sheet metal at the ends of the coils may rub against the ends of the copper tubes, creating leaks.
- Refrigerant line sets – Leaks often form in the joints of refrigerant lines.
How to Prevent Refrigerant Leaks
The best way to prevent refrigerant leaks is to schedule routine HVAC inspections. Through routine inspections, your HVAC technician can detect and fix potential issues before they can affect your HVAC unit’s performance or indoor air quality.
Are you looking for experienced HVAC contractors near you?
Bill Reynolds Heating & Air Conditioning is a local, family-owned and -operated business that’s been serving local residents since 1958. We offer a wide range of professional heating and cooling services, including duct cleaning. To request a quote, call us at (440) 946-7863 or fill out this form.