Have you recently noticed that your AC unit is leaking refrigerant but can’t figure out why? You’re not alone. The damage from a leaky AC unit can be expensive and a hassle to repair. If you don’t call an air conditioning service to fix a leaky AC unit in time, you might have to deal with water damage issues in your home on top of expensive repairs for the AC unit.
When you notice your air conditioner is leaking coolant, you need to call an air conditioning service in Hinckley, IL, immediately. In this post, we will learn more about why the AC unit might be leaking, signs to indicate a leak, and why you should call an air conditioning service as soon as possible.
Pro tip: If you suspect you may have a refrigerant leak, turn the thermostat off. If the AC keeps running, it may cause more damage to the unit and your house.
What Is an AC Refrigerant?
AC refrigerant is a chemical compound within the AC usually found in a liquid or gaseous state. The refrigerant absorbs heat and provides cool air after going through the compressor and evaporator coil. Essentially, an air conditioner cannot cool your home without refrigerant.
If there is a leak, the level of refrigerant is significantly reduced. This affects the ability of the air conditioner to keep you cool and comfortable. What are some of the signs you should look out for?
Signs That May Indicate Your AC Has a Refrigerant Leak
If you see any of the following signs, you need to call a professional AC service.
- Increased utility bills: If your AC is leaking refrigerant, it will be less efficient, meaning it will have to work harder to cool your home. If you notice your utility bills are higher than before for no apparent reason, the culprit could be a refrigerant leak. Better to be safe and call an air conditioning service.
- AC takes longer to cool your home: A refrigerant leak causes your AC to be less efficient, and a less efficient AC unit won’t cool your house as quickly as it should. If you notice the AC is taking longer to cool your home or a change in your comfort levels, call an AC service because this might indicate a coolant leak.
- Hissing sound: If you hear a hissing sound coming from your AC, there may be some cracks or holes in the coils due to corrosion. If there is a crack in the coils, the coolant may be leaking, making a hissing sound. Once you hear a hissing sound from the AC, contact an air conditioning service.
- Increased humidity: An AC unit doesn’t just cool your home; it also lowers humidity levels. If humidity levels in the house randomly fluctuate, you may have a coolant leak. If you notice higher humidity levels than usual, call an AC service in Hinckley, IL, to check for a coolant leak.
- Low airflow: An AC with a coolant leak cannot produce enough cool air. When you turn the AC on and have low airflow, you may have a coolant leak. Contact an AC service to fix the issue.
Reasons for a Refrigerant Leak
Clogged condensate drain
As part of the dehumidification process, AC units will generate water. This water should flow through the condensate drain and out of your home. However, dirt and debris can block the condensate drain. When the water can’t flow outside, it will result in puddles around the AC system that could flow to other house parts.
Proper AC maintenance should prevent this from happening. If you do notice a leak, call an air conditioning service to fix this issue before it escalates.
Dirty air filter
A dirty air filter can cause a coolant leakage. The air filters should be replaced every two months. If the filter is not replaced regularly, it becomes clogged, preventing airflow.
When airflow is restricted due to clogged air filters, the temperature of the evaporator coil can drop significantly, and ice can start to form over the coil. Excess water will begin to drip into the drainage pan, and eventually, the pan runs out of space, and the water starts to leak from the AC unit. When you notice a leak, call an air conditioning service to check it out.
The HVAC system has metal components, including copper tube walls. The copper tube walls can become corrupted over time, causing cracks and holes to develop. Once this happens, refrigerant starts to leak from the weakened tube walls. Call an air conditioner service to repair the AC unit when you notice a leak.
If the air conditioning unit wasn’t installed properly, it could lead to a refrigerant leak. If a central air conditioner is not level, it might start leaking water outside. Additionally, check that the outside air conditioning unit is placed on a flat, even part of the roof. If you notice that your air conditioner is not placed on a flat surface and is leaking coolant, call an AC service to install it correctly.
Poor assembly, missing components, and improper handling are some of the things that could lead to a coolant leak due to factory defects. A flaw that was not detected when the AC unit was in the factory could cause a refrigerant leak when the unit is installed in your house. In such a case, call an air conditioning service to repair the unit or replace it per the warranty.
If the pump fails, water does not get taken from the overflow pan. The pan will fill to the point of overflowing. Call an AC service in Hinckley, IL, to fix the pump if you notice a leak.
Contact Just In Time Heating & Air Conditioning
If you notice a refrigerant leak, don’t hesitate to call a professional air conditioning service to handle it for you. We know all about AC installation, repair, and maintenance at Just In Time.
Check out our site to learn more about the services we offer. Call 815-768-4771 to schedule an appointment with our team of HVAC professionals.