A lot of people think that air conditioners consume refrigerant the same way that a car consumes motor oil. That’s not actually the case. In fact, the air conditioner relies on a very specific amount of refrigerant — dictated by make and model — circulating through a closed loop in order to do its job. Leaks aren’t supposed to spring up, but when they do, they constitute a big problem. Here in Holladay, UT, there are trained services that should always deal with leaking refrigerant, since the chemicals are dangerous and require proper experience to handle. You can, however, watch for since of leaking refrigerant in your air conditioner. When you spot them, shut the system down and call for help immediately.
Frost on the Coils
When refrigerant leaks, the delicate process of cooling the air is thrown off. Frost forms on the evaporator coils, insulating the air you need to cool from the remaining refrigerant. That process will escalate until the system itself suffers a breakdown. Never try to scrape off the frost. You might harm the coils — which are very expensive to replace — and the frost will just re-form anyway.
The loss of refrigerant means a loss of energy efficiency in your system. Your bills will likely spike without any attendant extra usage, and the rest of the system’s components will be put under additional strain (further increasing the risk of a breakdown). If you notice an inexplicably higher bill, tkae that as a warning sing that something serious is wrong.
Sometimes when the refrigerant leaks out of the system, it makes a hissing or a bubbling sound, which you can detect if you listen closely while the system is turned off. Never try to hunt down the source of the sound: again,m refrigerant is harmful if not handled by trained professionals. But the sound itself should be enough to alert you to the problem.
Call Design Comfort to repair any leaks and recharge the refrigerant in your air conditioner!