If you use a traditional central air conditioner, ductless system, or heat pump, then this blog post is for you. Why’s that? Because there is an important component that runs through these systems—refrigerant.
Refrigerant is the chemical actually responsible for transferring heat in order to bring you cooling. Not sure you understand? Not to worry, that’s why The Maynard Man is here!
We get a lot of customers who don’t really understand how air conditioners really work. They do not “generate” cooling like a heater generates warmth. Instead, they pull hot air from your home, and the refrigerant process involves compressing and condensing that expels the hot air outdoors and brings chilled air indoors.
So, you get it—refrigerant is important. You know what else is important? Knowing when you have a refrigerant leak. Read on to learn more!
The Refrigerant Leak Myth
You may have been told by an HVAC “professional”—not us—at some point that refrigerant is a fuel, and one that depletes like gasoline does from a car. They probably told you that it needs to be recharged (refilled) on a regular basis. This is not the case.
There is enough refrigerant in a central air conditioning system upon manufacturing to ideally last its entire lifespan. If your system is losing refrigerant, then it means it has a leak. Yes, your refrigerant has to be recharged. But the source of the leak also has to be fixed so it doesn’t continue to leak.
Allowing a leak to go on, year after year, causes your air conditioner to operate inefficiently and ineffectively. It can exacerbate wear and tear and shorten the overall lifespan of the system.
“How Can I Tell If I Have a Refrigerant Leak?”
Let’s say you came across this blog post not because you were told you need a refrigerant recharge, but because you’re unsure if you have a refrigerant problem. Here are some signs to watch for:
- The air coming from your vents or air handlers isn’t as cool as it should be.
- Your system is short-cycling, that is, rapidly turning on and off.
- Your energy bills have skyrocketed with no clear reason.
- You hear a bubbling or hissing noise coming from your system.
- You see ice forming on the coil or on the refrigerant line itself.
As we alluded to above, you really do not want to wait to have this issue repaired. Sure, your air conditioner may still operate for awhile with a refrigerant leak. But that doesn’t mean it’s operating well. It is very likely wasting valuable energy and money. This means you’re basically paying more for less from your cooling system. Additionally, running an AC that is leaking refrigerant is damaging to the compressor—the heart of your air conditioner.
Don’t let something that’s an easy fix for The Maynard Man become a huge headache for your household. Reach out to us today to get your refrigerant leak repaired!