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How to Identify an AC Refrigerant Leak

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Refrigerant is what makes it possible for an air conditioner to move heat from one place to another. It absorbs heat from the air inside of your home and releases that heat to the air outside. Unfortunately, cooling systems can sometimes develop leaks in their refrigerant lines that allow refrigerant to seep out. This can greatly hinder the cooling process and lead to operational problems.

Today we’re going to help you catch this problem early by talking about how to identify a refrigerant leak in your air conditioner!

1. Get a tune-up every year.
Getting annual air conditioner tune-ups is one of the best ways to identify refrigerant leaks. That’s because we perform a professional inspection of your refrigerant lines and levels during your tune-up, and we can identify small leaks that would be difficult for you to recognize on your own. By getting a tune-up every year, you can be proactive about catching refrigerant leaks and minimize the amount of repair calls you need to make for your system.

2. Be suspicious of extra-long cooling cycles.
When refrigerant begins to leak out of your system, there is less of the substance available to remove heat from your home. As a result, your air conditioner will have to work longer to keep your home cool. If your air conditioner’s cooling cycles have gotten noticeably longer (and it’s not due to an increase in outside temperatures), a refrigerant leak could be the cause.

3. Look out for warm air coming from your vents.
When your air conditioner is short on refrigerant, it will not be able to remove as much heat from your home’s air as it normally can. This can make the air that comes out of your vents feel warmer than usual.

4. Check for frozen evaporator coils.
Refrigerant leaks are one of the leading causes of frozen evaporator coils. That’s because condensation freezes up on your coils when there is not enough refrigerant available to absorb heat from the air that blows over them.

Know the signs of an AC refrigerant leak.

5. Listen for hissing or jingling sounds.
When refrigerant leaks out of tiny holes in your system’s refrigerant lines, it tends to produce a hissing sound. An air conditioner that is low on refrigerant will often make a jingly sound during its cooling cycle.

6. Question your HVAC contractor about refilling your system.
Refrigerant does not fuel your HVAC unit in the same way that a car burns gasoline. It simply cycles continuously throughout the system in order to chill the air that is also cycling through your system. If there is no leak present, then your refrigerant levels should always remain the same. If your contractor is not checking for or patching leaks, before replenishing refrigerant levels, then you may want to consider finding a more reliable air conditioning company like reliable brothers at Hydes to maintain your system!

What to do When You Identify a Refrigerant Leak

If you think that you have identified a refrigerant leak in your home comfort system, give Hydes a call as soon as possible. We’ll send a technician to your home to measure your system’s refrigerant levels and inspect its lines for leaks. If we find a leak, we will patch it up and recharge your system with the right amount of refrigerant.

If you have questions about how to identify a refrigerant leak, or if your cooling system needs to be serviced, contact the licensed HVAC technicians of Hydes, at (760) 360-2202. We’ll diagnose the problem and get you back to comfortable as quickly as possible!

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