How to Deal With Leaking Refrigerants?

Leaking refrigerants are a common problem with the AC, especially during the summers. If your AC is not delivering sufficiently cool air, this may be due to a refrigerant leak. A common sign of a leaking refrigerant is that the AC vents start throwing warm air or air that’s at room temperature. You may need one of our Greenville HVAC specialists to come and take a look at it. Here’s a look at why refrigerants are important, how they work and how can you handle leaking refrigerants.

Why Your AC Needs Refrigerant?

The refrigerant is responsible for cooling the air before the AC vents deliver it to your living spaces. So it essentially serves as the cooling agent. A specific amount of refrigerant must be present in the HVAC system at all times to ensure that the AC delivers suitable cooling.

Refrigerant levels in the AC can decline for a number of reasons. When they do, it immediately affects the cooling prowess of the AC. In such a case, you will need professional HVAC services to add refrigerant to the AC and bring it up to the required levels.

What Causes Refrigerant Leaks?

Refrigerant leaks occur for a number of reasons. Here’s a look at some of the top reasons why such a leak may occur:

  • Vibrations: Vibrations are one of the leading reasons why refrigerant leaks may occur. When the HVAC system operates continuously for long hours, the vibrating components can weaken specific joints. Over time, the joints come slightly loose, just enough to allow the refrigerant to escape into the air.
  • Weak Joints: Your AC has a large number of joints and connections. Over time, these connections can become weak. This is simply a result of aging and is particularly seen in air conditioning units that are used extensively or have been in use for a long time.
  • Corrosion: Copper coil and components in the AC are prone to corrosion from various air pollutants. If exposed to such air pollutants on a regular basis, the coil will begin to corrode. This typically results in multiple refrigerant leaks.
  • Tubing Wear: The refrigerant must circulate through the tubing of your AC at a high pressure to achieve a desired degree of cooling. This results in significant wear of the inner walls of the tubing. Over time, the walls become thin due to constant refrigerant circulation. This can also lead to refrigerant leaks.

Resolving Refrigerant Leaks

If your AC has refrigerant leakage, it is important that you have the problem resolved soon. This is because not only does this result in poor cooling, it can also put an extra pressure on the AC compressor and possibly damage even that. So when you suspect a refrigerant leak, you must resolve it at the earliest. Here are some solutions typically used to handle leaks like this:

  • Add Refrigerant: This is a short-term and stop-gap solution. You can have an HVAC professional top up the refrigerant levels in your AC. Although this solution is less expensive than others, it does not actually plug the leaks – instead, it simply ensures that the refrigerant in your AC may last another season or so. So you will need to get a refrigerant recharge every year. A problem with frequent refrigerant recharges is also that it may end up damaging the compressor.
  • Use a Sealant: Another temporary solution to refrigerant leaks is the use of a sealant to plug the leak. A good sealant will effectively block the refrigerant from escaping the coil. However, the sealant application will not last very long and may even further damage the coil when you have to take it off.
  • Repair or Replace: This is a durable way of resolving refrigerant leaks. You can either have the leaking component repaired or get it replaced altogether. Replacing components such as AC coils is a lot more convenient in that it is a sure way of getting rid of the leaks. Depending on the position, nature and number of the leaks, you may want to choose repair or replacement to get rid of refrigerant leaks for good.

Hiring Greenville Heating and Air Experts

If you live in Greenville, SC and face refrigerant leak problems, it is time to get in touch with the professionals. Here at General Air, we have been serving Greenville homeowners and businesses for several years. Our Greenville heating and air experts can resolve refrigerant leaks for HVAC systems of all sizes and types. Simply contact us to schedule an inspection and our experts will be at your doorstep in no time.

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