If you hear hissing coming from one of the copper refrigerant lines on your air conditioner, you have a pretty good clue there's a leak in your system. Other times, your AC may have low refrigerant, but you can't figure out what's wrong. All you know is your AC isn't keeping you cool. Here are some signs your AC could be low on refrigerant and what a repair service may need to do to fix the problem.
Signs Of Low Refrigerant In A Central AC
If the refrigerant has leaked out, or if it's low, your air conditioner may run, but it won't put out cool air. If there's a tiny leak, but there is still refrigerant in the line, your AC may put out cool air, but it may not be cold enough to chill your home properly. This could cause your AC to run longer, and that runs up your power bill.
An AC that's low on refrigerant might also ice over. If you see ice on the refrigerant coils, the problem could be low refrigerant or dirty coils. While you might suspect a problem with the refrigerant, the only way to know for sure is to call an air conditioning service and have a technician test the pressure in the system.
Ways To Repair A Refrigerant Leak
A refrigerant leak needs to be fixed by a licensed HVAC contractor since there are laws that regulate who can work with refrigerant and how it should be handled and disposed of. Filling the lines is usually not the answer since the new refrigerant just leaks out. Instead, the technician has to find the leaky area and repair it.
A refrigerant leak can develop for a number of reasons. A connection might be loose, and in that case, the technician can tighten it. There might be a hole caused by vibrating equipment rubbing against metal or a screw. In this case, the technician might just patch the copper line with solder.
A more serious problem is when there are many tiny pinhole leaks in the coils. This might happen in the evaporator coil indoors because the coils are in daily contact with VOC gasses from building materials. In this case, there may be too many holes to hunt down and repair. Instead, the contractor might recommend replacing the set of coils.
Once the leak has been stopped, the refrigerant system can be filled and brought to the proper pressure. Refrigerant needs to be in the right range. Too much or too little pressure affects the proper operation of your air conditioner.
Contact a local air conditioning service to learn more.Share