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Sound Heating and Air Conditioning Inc. Blog

Is a Refrigerant Leak That Big of a Deal?

refrigerant-line-leading-into-ac-unitThe short answer to this is, “yes!”

Look, there are a lot of problems you can run into with your air conditioner over the years. Some are more minor than others. A worn motor bearing, for example, is something to be expected to wear and tear impacts your cooling system. While you don’t want to wait too long before having it replaced, as it can create a domino effect and damage your system, it falls on the list of “minor” issues when it comes to your AC.

But then there are other problems that you don’t want to just label as “minor.” A refrigerant leak is one of them!

If you believe that you do have a refrigerant leak in your cooling system, then you need to give the professionals a call as soon as you can. The longer you wait, the bigger risk there is of serious AC damage. The component that will get the brunt of this damage is the compressor—you know, the heart of your entire air conditioner. But how do you know if you actually have a refrigerant leak? Read on to find out!

Signs You Have a Refrigerant Leak

If your cooling system is losing refrigerant, it’s going to struggle to operate as it should. You may have a leak if you notice any of the following symptoms. Keep in mind though some of these are signs of other air conditioning problems. So whatever the cause, it’s best to call in a pro to have your AC inspected.

  • The air from the vents isn’t as cool as you think it should be. Be sure to pay attention to whether the problem is that the air isn’t cool enough or it isn’t powerful enough. While refrigerant is essential for your air conditioner to actually cool your living space, you could possibly have low airflow instead. Low airflow has a few potential causes, one of which being a clogged air filter. Try changing or cleaning out your air filter and if this doesn’t resolve the issue, give us a call!
  • The system is short-cycling. Not sure what short-cycling is? It’s the process in which your air conditioner turns on and off rapidly. If this is happening shortly after AC installation, then unfortunately it means your system is too large for your home and you’ll need to talk to the professionals who installed it, or speak to our team about a replacement. Otherwise, it may be the sign of a refrigerant leak that needs to be located and repaired.
  • Your energy bills have spiked without any other explanation. Not using your air conditioner any more this year than you did last year? But you notice that your energy bills have spiked? This is almost always a sign that something is causing your air conditioner to work less efficiently than it used to. The cause could certainly be a refrigerant leak. When refrigerant is leaking and your air conditioner cannot actually cool the air, it will run longer to try to compensate, which uses up more energy than necessary.

These are just a few of the signs that you may have a refrigerant leak. If you notice a hissing or bubbling sound, or see ice forming anywhere on your air conditioner, these are also potential signs. Give us a call as soon as you can!

Contact Sound Heating and Air Conditioning Inc. for professional air conditioning service in Tacoma, WA

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