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Refrigerant: Small Leaks, Big Problems

service-timeThere are a lot of different components in any air conditioning system. From the ductwork that distributes the cool air to the evaporator and condenser coils, compressor, and so on, it is a surprisingly complex system for one with just a single job to do. In order to do that job as efficiently and effectively as possible, it is important that every component in your air conditioning system is functioning properly. It is also important that the system is properly charged with refrigerant.

While not a mechanical component, the refrigerant in your air conditioning system is definitely one of the key players in the overall cooling process. If your system is leaking refrigerant, then you absolutely must schedule prompt air conditioning repairs in Stanwood, WA, before serious damage is done. Of course, in order to do so, you must first recognize that there is a refrigerant leak to begin with. We have some information that will help you to do so.

What Does Refrigerant Do?

In order to really understand why a refrigerant leak in your air conditioner is so important, you really must first understand what it is that refrigerant does in your system. Only then can you understand just how problematic low refrigerant levels really are.

Refrigerant is a heat transfer fluid, and the evaporation of refrigerant in the system’s evaporator coil is what allows the system to cool your home. Remember, an air conditioner does not somehow generate cool air. Instead, it removes heat from the air passing over the coil by evaporating refrigerant, which then travels outdoors to vent that heat as it is condensed.

If there is not enough refrigerant in the system, this whole cooling process is going to be thrown off. When that happens, the system is going to struggle to cool your home effectively. This will have some serious implications for the system, including eventual compressor failure!

Spotting Refrigerant Leaks

The “good” news here is that there are warning signs that your air conditioner is leaking refrigerant. Keep an eye out for ice building up on the evaporator coil, which will get too cold if there is not enough refrigerant within in order to draw a sufficient amount of heat out of the air. If there is also frost on the refrigerant lines themselves, then you are likely looking at a leak.

You may also see your energy costs spiking and notice that your system is running longer and longer. The fact is that a system low on refrigerant is going to have to run longer to draw the right amount of heat out of the air. Less refrigerant means less heat transfer.

If your system is running in short bursts, it is short cycling. This could be cause by overheating, which in turn could be caused by the strain put on the system due to low refrigerant levels. If your system is not running in its usual full cycles, contact us to have the problem investigated.

Foss Heating & Cooling is here for your AC repair needs.

 

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