3 Ways You Can Tell If Your AC System Is Leaking Refrigerant

The thought of going even a day without air conditioning can be frightening to anyone living in a desert climate. AC systems help keep homes cool and comfortable when outdoor temperatures become almost unbearable.

The cooling process is made possible, in part, by the liquid refrigerant. Refrigerant assists in the transfer of heat that occurs inside your AC condenser unit.

You shouldn't have a problem as long as the refrigerant is contained within designated hoses and reservoirs in your AC unit. It's when refrigerant starts to leak that you should worry. 

1. Multiple Trips to the Thermostat

An AC system that is functioning properly will be able to keep your home at whatever temperature you set on your thermostat. The refrigerant absorbs the heat from the air that is returned to the AC unit from within your home. This heat is then released into the outdoor environment so that the cooling process can begin.

A refrigerant leak can reduce the efficiency of your AC unit. You will find yourself making multiple trips to the thermostat to lower the temperature in an attempt to keep comfortable.

You should contact an HVAC specialist for help if you are making more trips to the thermostat than usual.

2. Noticeable Hissing Sounds

You are probably familiar with the sounds that your AC unit makes when it cools your home. The sudden introduction of hissing sounds is definitely a cause for concern.

Holes or cracks in the coils that hold liquid refrigerant inside your AC system allow refrigerant to seep out. The sudden change in temperature causes the liquid refrigerant to expand, creating a tell-tale hissing sound. If the leak is on the larger side, you may notice a gurgling sound instead of a hissing.

Your HVAC technician will be able to find the refrigerant leak and eliminate any hissing or gurgling noises from your AC system.

3. Frozen Coils

One cooling problem that you may face when your AC system has a refrigerant leak is frozen coils. Ice forms on the exterior walls of the coils when there isn't enough refrigerant to allow the coils to absorb heat evenly.

Your entire system is at risk of failing if you don't address frozen coils quickly. A visual examination will tell you if the coils in your AC unit have iced over. You may also be able to identify frozen coils by the pooling water they create under your AC unit when the ice begins to melt.

Repair the refrigerant leak, and your coils should thaw with ease. Contact professionals near you for residential AC services.