A refrigerant leak is one of the most common causes of an AC unit starting to blow warm air. Because the refrigerant is in a closed system, there are only two possible reasons why the unit would run low on it: a) if there’s a leak; or b) it was undercharged during the installation process. Unlike other parts, refrigerant doesn’t deplete, so there’s no need to refill it regularly.
If your AC is blowing warm air and you’re still not sure if you should get HVAC repair, below are the signs that refrigerant is leaking, so you’ll know what to look for and make the right decisions.
1. Unusually High Energy Bill
With a refrigerant leak, you may notice an unusual increase in your monthly energy bill. Leaks in the refrigerant force your AC to work much harder than it should. You may also see that the system works longer–it will keep running because it constantly fails to reach the desired temperature for your home. Call for HVAC repair services right away if you see this problem to avoid high expenses down the line.
2. Bubbling or Hissing Sound
Depending on the leak’s size, you will likely hear it leaking out of the refrigerant lines, either in liquid or gas form. Liquid leaks usually make a bubbling sound while gas produces a hissing noise. Since the refrigerant is a potentially hazardous substance, you need a professional to properly handle it. Don’t try to fix it yourself as you will probably end up causing more damage to the AC unit.
3. Home Takes a Long Time to Cool
Have you noticed that your home takes a bit longer to cool lately? Then it might be a case of a leaking refrigerant. The heat inside your home is absorbed by the refrigerant, which then carries the heat outside. With systems that don’t have enough refrigerant, your home will take much longer to cool because there isn’t much substance to remove the heat.
4. Air Registers Keep Producing Warm Air
Is your system already low on refrigerant? Then the air coming out of your vents or registers will be warmer. If you notice a change in the temperature of air from your AC, a refrigerant leak might be the culprit. Have a technician inspect your unit to see if there are other problems that you’re not aware of.
Suspect a Refrigerant Leak?
If you encounter any of the signs indicated above, call for HVAC repair services as soon as you can. Licensed technicians will thoroughly assess your system and check the refrigerant lines to see if there’s any leak. We suggest you sign up for regular maintenance, because technicians also look for refrigerant leaks during each AC tune-up.