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Dalton Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, Electric and Fireplaces, Inc. Blog

Our Guide to a Refrigerant Leak

Air conditioners use refrigerant in a closed-loop system. What this means is that by the time the system is fully installed, it’s been set up with all the refrigerant it will ever need for the rest of its lifespan.

Refrigerant in an air conditioner is not like gasoline in a car, it shouldn’t need to be refilled and it should have the same amount next year that it has this year.

However, as you can clearly tell by your system leaking refrigerant, and other people needing a refrigerant “recharge” for their systems, this isn’t how it works out in real life. Air conditioners can leak refrigerant. So, what do you do?

First of all, the problem needs to be diagnosed before we can recharge the refrigerant. AC repair in Cedar Rapids, IA is going to be necessary to have the issue diagnosed and fixed. Then we can worry about replacing the refrigerant and getting you back to normal.

How a Refrigerant Line Might Leak

Refrigerant can leak in all sorts of different ways. The important thing to think of is that there are different forms of refrigerant in your air conditioner. One line has evaporated, gaseous refrigerant that’s kept in a pressurized tube, and the other line has the liquid refrigerant in its condensed form.

Either of these types of refrigerant can leak out of the system, but they’re kept at particular pressures. So, detecting a refrigerant leak is the number one way to handle this kind of problem from an AC repair perspective.

Detecting the Problem

If you think you’re suffering from a refrigerant leak, then the most important thing you can do is call for help. We still recommend trying to locate the source of the problem (or investigate its potential cause) but a professional can help you do that as well.

  • Bubbling or Hissing. If your air conditioner is making bubbling or hissing noises while it runs, this is definitely a sign that it’s leaking.
  • Poor efficiency. A system that’s leaking refrigerant will run in longer cycles more often, leading to a higher energy bill as it consumes more electricity.
  • Poor comfort. An air conditioner can struggle to meet the temperature demand set on your thermostat if it’s running low on refrigerant. Poor comfort levels in your home can easily signify a leak.
  • The system short cycles. A short cycling system is another sign that the culprit could be a refrigerant leak. If your air conditioner runs in short, frequent cycles then call our team to have it diagnosed ASAP.

Getting Your Unit Fixed

Unfortunately, if you came here to figure out how to fix a refrigerant leak on your own, that’s not really a possibility. This kind of work is exceptionally difficult and should really be undertaken by a professional.

We think you’re capable of doing plenty on your own, but the truth is that working on your AC problem by yourself would probably cost more in the long run than hiring a professional.

At Dalton Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, Electric and Fireplaces, Inc., your comfort is our promise! To set up an appointment in the Cedar Rapids area, give us a call at the number above, email or schedule an appointment online. 

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