The story is always the same: It’s one of the hottest days of the year, and that’s when your air conditioner decides to stop working. Once that happens, the next step is to determine what’s wrong, so that you can get your AC fixed as quickly as possible. That’s just one reason why it’s important to know the signs of AC refrigerant leaks.
Refrigerant is necessary for your air conditioner to do its job of removing the heat from the air in your home. When your air conditioning system has a refrigerant leak, however, this process is disrupted. While a refrigerant leak is one of many potential issues you may experience with your air conditioner, it’s common and is worth knowing how to identify.
In this article, we’ll cover just 5 AC refrigerant leak signs you should know.
1. It’s taking a while for your home to cool down.
One of the first indicators that your air conditioner may have a refrigerant leak is that your air conditioner is slow to cool your home. You may still notice cool air coming through your vents, but it may not be as cool as it has been in the past. With this in mind, it’s likely that your air conditioning system has less cooling power due to a refrigerant leak. As such, your system may be taking longer to pull the heat from your home and, thereby, more time to lower the temperature.
2. Your AC is blowing warm air.
Not only can a refrigerant leak slow down your air conditioner’s ability to cool your home, but it may prevent your AC from doing its job altogether. For instance, you may notice that your AC is not blowing cold air. In fact, your AC may be blowing warm air, even though you have your thermostat set to “cool.” Regardless of the temperature you set your thermostat to, you may notice that the temperature of the air remains about the same. This may be due to the fact that a refrigerant leak is preventing your system from adequately removing the heat from the air in your home.
3. There’s more humidity in your home than usual.
Many folks are surprised that air conditioners actually remove humidity from their homes. By reducing the humidity in your home, your air conditioner can provide you with the home comfort you deserve. With that being said, if you observe higher humidity levels in your home than usual, a refrigerant leak may be reducing your system’s ability to effectively remove the humidity in your home.
4. Your evaporator coils are frozen.
A very clear indicator that your air conditioning system has a refrigerant leak is frozen evaporator coils. With low refrigerant levels, your system may overwork, which may cause your system to work harder than it should and, thereby, cause the condensation to freeze around the evaporator coils.
If you’re not sure how to check your evaporator coils, they are located in your outdoor condenser unit. Before inspecting your condenser, be sure to turn off your air conditioning system. Then, open up your outdoor condenser unit to expose the evaporator coils. If you observe ice on or around these coils, your evaporator coils are frozen, and you will need to contact an HVAC professional to service your system.
Important note: Do not continue attempting to run a system with frozen evaporator coils. Not only will your system fail to run properly, but running a system with frozen evaporator coils can damage it.
5. You’ve noticed an increase in your energy bills.
A more subtle sign that there may be a refrigerant leak in your system is a spike in your energy bills. As mentioned previously, if your air conditioner isn’t getting the refrigerant it needs, your system will have to work harder to do its job. With your air conditioning system working harder than usual, your system will require more energy to cool your home, which will in turn cause an increase in your energy bills.
While these signs are often indicative of a refrigerant leak, to really diagnose the issue with your air conditioner, we recommend contacting an HVAC professional. Moreover, these signs may indicate other potential issues with your HVAC system as well.
What Should You Do if You Have a Refrigerant Leak?
We hope that this article has given you a better idea of some of the AC refrigerant leak signs you can look for. If you suspect that your HVAC system has a leak, you’re probably wondering, “What should I do now?”
Of course, if your system has a refrigerant leak, you’ll want to address it as soon as possible. Unfortunately, this will require the assistance of an HVAC professional. An HVAC technician will be able to determine if your refrigerant leak can be repaired. If repairs are not possible, your technician can recommend what type of HVAC system you should upgrade to.
Our team at Edge Heating & Air prioritizes helping folks like you to achieve the home comfort they deserve. We’ve been providing HVAC services to those in the Temecula Valley and surrounding areas for over 15+ years. From repairing refrigerant leaks to installing brand new air conditioning systems, we’re here to help you.
To repair your system today, call (951) 304-9658 or schedule your service online.