Checking For Refrigerant Problems Is An Important Air Conditioning Service To Have Done Each Spring
One of the important air conditioning services to have each spring is checking the refrigerant. If the level isn't what it should be, your AC probably won't be able to keep you cool, or your AC might run too long and drive up your bill. Here's a look at the signs your refrigerant may be low, why refrigerant levels drop, and what an AC technician may need to do about low refrigerant.
Signs Your Refrigerant Is Low
If you're having spring air conditioning services done, you may not even be using your AC yet. In that case, low refrigerant may be found by the AC technician when they test the refrigerant pressure and level. If your AC is running, your house may not be cooling down very well.
The lower the refrigerant level gets, the harder your AC has to work to keep your home cool. That could stress the equipment and cause a breakdown or cause the coils to freeze over.
Reasons The Refrigerant Level Drops
The refrigerant in your air conditioner is in a closed loop that flows from the condenser to the evaporator coil in the air handler and back. The refrigerant shouldn't drop at all, and if it does, that means there's a leak in the system. The leak could be in one of the coils, in a straight line of copper tubing, or at a joint that's worked loose.
Pinholes can sometimes develop in the indoor portion of the copper line because of exposure to VOCs in your house. Other times, the line can be accidentally punctured or damaged. The refrigerant can leak slowly or rapidly depending on how large the hole or crack is.
Ways An AC Technician Finds A Refrigerant Leak
Finding a refrigerant leak is an important air conditioning service that might be difficult to do if the hole is tiny. The technician might find the leak by listening for hissing or they can use an electronic detection device.
They might also run dye through the system and follow up with a UV light to see where the dye is leaking. They can even rub soap on the refrigerant line and look for bubbles that reveal where the leak is located.
Repairs Needed For A Leaking Refrigerant Line
The AC technician has to stop the leak before the refrigerant can be filled to the normal level. Once the leak is found, the technician may patch the copper line, replace part of the line, replace an entire coil, or simply tighten a loose connection.
Once the leak is sealed, new refrigerant is added to the proper pressure and the AC should be able to cool your house without struggle. Contact air conditioning services near you to find out more.