What Is A Refrigerant Leak And How Can I Fix It?

August 12, 2021

What Is A Refrigerant Leak And How Can I Fix It?

Are you noticing a decline in the cooling efficiency of your HVAC system? It is most likely due to a refrigerant leak. This issue is most common in older air conditioning systems.

If your AC is indeed facing a refrigerant leak, the issue will most likely get worse. For those who don’t know or have never faced the situation before, refrigerant is the substance inside your air conditioner’s coils that does the job of removing heat from the air in your space.

Your air conditioning system does not “use up” refrigerant. This means if everything is correctly sealed the substance will stay in the system and will be constantly recirculated. However, sometimes holes and cracks develop in the coils that cause a refrigerant leak.

In this blog, we talk about why you should not ignore a refrigerant leak and what steps need to be taken to fix the issue.

Why Shouldn’t You Ignore an AC Refrigerant Leak?

Refrigerant is a crucial part of your air conditioner that ensures its smooth running. If you system has low refrigerant values and you are ignoring its maintenance, here are some of the issues you might face in the long run:

System Damage

If your system has low refrigerant levels, it will try to compensate for the loss of cooling by running longer. This will add undue pressure on the compressor and the system overall leading to damaged components and a damaged compressor. Know that compressor failure cannot be fixed in most cases and you will have to replace your AC.

Energy Consumption

To keep the house cool, the system will run longer. Due to long hours of the AC trying to run unsuccessfully, more energy will be consumed. As the temperature in your space increases, so will your electricity bills. Statistics show that there is a 20 percent rise in electricity consumption with a 10 percent drop in refrigerant volume due to a refrigerant leak.

Environmental damage

Refrigerants are dangerous chemicals that are proven to deplete the earth’s ozone layer. Moreover, breathing evaporated refrigerant can damage your lungs, and large amounts of refrigerant can cause skin burns.

This is why the handling and disposal of refrigerants are controlled by the Environmental Protection Agency. Hence, to ensure that all similar hazards are prevented, regularly maintain your HVAC system.

How To Fix A Refrigerant Leak Properly

Instead of adding more refrigerant to the system to get you through the rest of the summer, it is advised that you look for leaks in the system.

Adding more refrigerant is just a shortsighted solution. The substance will keep leaking and you will keep wasting money by replacing it. Moreover, it is advised to not use leak sealants. They can temporarily stop a small refrigerant leak. However, it will not last long.

To ensure that the issue is solved once and for all find and repair all the holes and the cracks in the coils. If there are too many, instead of using a sealant, replace the coil.

If you regularly maintain your AC or HVAC system, you will not face any refrigerant leak issues. Moreover, it is imperative that you don’t try to fix the issue at home. Call for professional help.

About Us

At Pro West, we offer expert services in the repair, installation, and maintenance of air conditioning, heating, hydronic, and humidifier systems to our residential and commercial customers in Vancouver and the lower mainland region. Contact us today for more information about our services.