In the realm of air conditioners, the ability to keep your living space comfortably cool largely depends on the system’s refrigerant. This vital component absorbs heat from the indoor air, thus making your environment pleasant. But what happens when the refrigerant starts to leak? What causes this scenario to occur?
Below, we will delve into what causes refrigerant leaks in air conditioners, which might result in less cool air and increased energy costs.
Understanding Air Conditioner Refrigerant Leaks
A common issue that plagues many air conditioning units is an AC refrigerant leak. This leak occurs when the refrigerant, which can be Freon in some AC units, starts to escape from the system. These leaks not only lead to decreased cooling efficiency but can also cause damage to the environment. The question remains: what causes refrigerant leaks in air conditioners?
1. Improper Installation
One of the leading causes of refrigerant leaks is improper installation. When an air conditioner is incorrectly installed, the AC unit may experience unnecessary strain. This strain can then lead to small cracks or holes in the refrigerant lines, allowing the refrigerant to leak.
It’s important to work with a professional technician who can guide you through your options and correctly install your air conditioning system, minimizing the chances of leaks. To ensure you get the best service, consider hiring experts in the field for the job. You can trust the trained and experienced technicians at Keefe’s for your AC installation or AC repair in New Orleans, LA.
2. Wear and Tear
Over time, AC units will naturally experience wear and tear. This wear and tear can cause the rubber seals and the metal parts of your air conditioner to corrode, creating opportunities for your refrigerant to leak.
Although wear and tear can be what causes refrigerant leaks in air conditioners, you can still be proactive. For instance, scheduling regular maintenance for your air conditioning unit can help identify such issues before they escalate into more serious problems.
3. Factory Defects
Sometimes, factory defects can also lead to refrigerant leaks. This happens when the air conditioning system comes with pre-existing faults from the manufacturer. These faults can range from minor issues, like loose connections, to major problems, such as defective evaporator coils.
4. Damaged Evaporator Coils
Your air conditioner’s evaporator coils are crucial in the cooling process. They absorb heat from the indoor air and help cool your home. However, these coils can sometimes develop holes or cracks due to corrosion, leading to a Freon leak. Regular maintenance can help detect such damage early and address it before it worsens.
5. Formic Acid Buildup
Formic acid buildup is a less known but very significant cause of refrigerant leaks. When the indoor air in your home contains volatile organic compounds, these substances can react with the copper coils in your HVAC system, creating formic acid. This acid can slowly eat away at the coils, causing tiny pinhole leaks, which allow the refrigerant to escape.
Detecting an AC Refrigerant Leak
How do you know if you have an AC leak? Apart from a noticeable decrease in your air conditioner’s cooling capacity, other signs include high electricity bills, a hissing sound from your air conditioner, and frost or ice on the AC’s lines. In such scenarios, it’s crucial to call in a professional HVAC technician who can identify and fix the issue.
Addressing a Refrigerant Leak
In the event of an AC leak, quick action is needed. The HVAC technician will pinpoint the source of the leak, repair the damaged component, and refill the refrigerant. Again, hiring an experienced and professional service provider, such as the team at Keefe’s, can ensure the job is done right.
Schedule AC Services With Our Experts Today!
So, what causes refrigerant leaks in air conditioners? As you can see, numerous factors can lead to this concerning issue — from improper installation and natural wear and tear to factory defects and formic acid buildup.
Being vigilant for signs of an AC refrigerant leak, such as reduced cooling efficiency or a hissing sound, can help you identify and resolve the problem before it escalates. Furthermore, regular maintenance from trusted professionals can help prevent these issues and keep your air conditioning system running smoothly. Remember, a well-maintained air conditioning unit is key to a cool, comfortable home.
Do you think you are experiencing a refrigerant leak? Don’t hesitate to call Keefe’s for assistance. We’ll provide you with the necessary solution to get the situation under control. Our team of local AC installers and repair experts is here to help in an emergency situation. Contact us today!