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A Major Air Conditioning Problem to Watch For: Leaking Refrigerant

Although there are many things that can go wrong with a complex device like an air conditioning system, you shouldn’t expect to encounter many of them if you take good care of the AC that cools your house. Regular spring maintenance will help keep away the majority of malfunctions that might negatively affect your comfort.

However, there’s one air conditioner trouble that is difficult to prevent ahead of time: leaking refrigerant (a.k.a. “Freon”). Air conditioners that are around 4–7 years old are particularly susceptible to the corrosion that causes refrigerant leaks, and it is a tricky condition to catch beforehand. Pay careful attention to the following signs that may indicate your air conditioner is losing refrigerant, and call for professional repairs immediately. If an AC continues to operate with low refrigerant levels, it can lead to permanent damage to the compressor.

  • Hissing sounds – If you hear what sounds like high-pressure gas escaping from a line inside the air conditioner cabinet, that’s probably exactly what it is. Have a professional look into the noise right away.
  • Ice across the evaporator coil – The evaporator coil located in the interior cabinet of an air conditioner is where the systems absorbs thermal energy and cools down the air in a house. But reduced refrigerant levels will cause the coil to begin freeze over as it loses heat absorption.
  • General decline in cooling power – The less refrigerant in an air conditioner, the less heat it can pull from your air. If the air conditioner seems to be losing its ability to cool your house the way you want it, don’t hesitate to call for HVAC technicians.

If your AC is losing refrigerant, professionals will locate where the leaks are occurring, seal them, and then refill the refrigerant to its factory level. (Never attempt to refill the refrigerant yourself, since too much refrigerant can also severely damage the AC.)

Southeast Air & Heat offers air conditioning repair in Orlando, FL.

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