One of the more common repair problems that a residential air conditioner may run into is leaking refrigerant. This is an issue that may crop up no matter how well you care for your AC: a condition called formicary corrosion caused by household chemicals in the air can open up tiny holes along the copper refrigerant lines and allow the refrigerant to escape.
This is a major concern for an air conditioning system, and if not attended to as soon as possible, it might even lead to a full system breakdown. Pay attention to any drop in cooling power from your air conditioner, signs of frost along the indoor components, or a hissing sound coming from the cabinets. All of these may point toward refrigerant loss, and only professionals can fix the problem.
The danger of refrigerant leaks
An air conditioner has a set amount of refrigerant placed in it when it is manufacturer or installed; this is called its charge. The charge should never decline while the air conditioner works; refrigerant isn’t a type of fuel but rather the fluid necessary to carry heat from one place to another, evaporating and then condensing without dissipating.
Because an air conditioner is designed for a specific refrigerant charge, a fall in the charge due to leaks will jeopardize the entire system. First, heat absorption will drop and the AC will struggle to provide its expected cooling levels. Then frost will begin to cover the evaporator coil, causing even more loss of cooling because the coil won’t be able to absorb sufficient heat. Most damaging of all, the compressor may overheat or cold liquid refrigerant get inside it, causing catastrophic damage. If the compressor in an air conditioner breaks irreparably, often the whole cooling system must be replaced.
At JW Heating and Air, we take pride in the cleanliness of our work to protect your house. Call us in Northridge, CA for your air conditioning repair needs, such as leaking refrigerant.