Your air conditioner does not somehow generate coolness, the way that your furnace or boiler generates heat via electric resistance or the combustion of fuel. Instead, that coolness that you are feeling is really the absence of heat. Your air conditioner removes heat from the air in order to cool it down before recirculating that air throughout your home. The refrigerant in your air conditioning system plays a vital role in this process and, without a proper refrigerant charge, your air conditioner will be in serious trouble.
Today we are going to discuss how refrigerant works in your air conditioning system, as well as some ways in which you can spot signs of trouble with your air conditioner that could be related to refrigerant leaks. The moment that you do, give us a call. Refrigerant leaks can, unfortunately, do very real damage to your AC in very short order. Prompt AC repairs in Cherry Hill, NJ are definitely in your best interest.
Refrigerant Is a Heat Transfer Fluid
And a great one, at that! Refrigerant is able to change its physical state quite easily, from liquid to gas and back again. The indoor coil of your air conditioning system is the evaporator coil, where refrigerant is, unsurprisingly, evaporated. As it is, heat is drawn out of the air. Now, the refrigerant travels to the outdoor unit, where it is condensed in, yep, the condenser coil.
As the refrigerant condenses, it releases its heat. Then, it travels back indoors to the evaporator coil, and this simple cycle is repeated over and over until the desired temperature is met in your home. Notice that nowhere in this process did we describe refrigerant being consumed by the AC. It is recycled again and again. That means that a low refrigerant charge indicates either an improper charge at the time of installation or a leak in the system.
How to Recognize a Potential Refrigerant Leak
You may notice that your home is just not as cool as it should be. This is because your air conditioner is not going to be able to cool your home as effectively as it otherwise would if it has a low refrigerant charge.
You may also notice that it is running in short bursts. That is because the strain caused by the system trying to compensate for the low refrigerant charge can cause it to overheat. When that happens, the system will shut down to prevent damages, resulting in short-cycling.
You may notice frost or ice on the refrigerant lines, as they get too cold. The evaporator coil may freeze up as well. Keep an eye out for pools of water around the system, as the ice melts away.
Finally, listen for hissing sounds in the vicinity of your air conditioner. You may actually be able to hear evidence of refrigerant escaping from the system.
If you ignore the problem long enough, you can expect not just very high bills, but potentially costly repairs. Of course, eventually, the system could break down entirely, the compressor could fail, and you may need an AC replacement.
Schedule your AC repairs with Climate Mechanics LLC.