Refrigerant Leaks: The Invisible Threat To Your AC's Lifespan And Performance

Make sure to get annual maintenance on your HVAC systems to uphold your warranties.

Refrigerant Leaks: The Invisible Threat To Your AC's Lifespan And Performance

Refrigerant Leaks: The Invisible Threat To Your AC's Lifespan And Performance

19 July 2023
, Blog

If you're like most homeowners, you're very much aware that your household AC unit plays an important role in the comfort of you and your family — which is why it's essential to prioritize regular maintenance of your system. As the lifeblood of your system, the refrigerant absorbs heat from the indoor air and releases it outside, thereby cooling your space. Refrigerant leaks, a common but often overlooked issue, can significantly hamper your AC's performance, efficiency, and lifespan.

Here's what you need to know about refrigerant leaks in your household AC system.

Implications of Refrigerant Leaks

A refrigerant leak can cause a series of problems. It can lead to decreased cooling efficiency, making your AC work harder to cool your space, and resulting in higher energy consumption. Over time, this increased strain can cause wear and tear to the system's components, reducing its lifespan and potentially leading to system failure.

Identifying Refrigerant Leaks

Identifying a refrigerant leak can be challenging as it doesn't present visible signs like a water leak. Common indications include a sudden increase in your energy bills, your AC blowing warm air, or ice forming on the outdoor unit's coil. If you suspect a refrigerant leak, it's crucial to contact an HVAC professional to diagnose and rectify the issue promptly.

The Importance of Professional Intervention

Repairing a refrigerant leak isn't a simple DIY task. It involves detecting the leak's source, repairing it, and then replenishing the refrigerant to the manufacturer's specified level. HVAC professionals have the necessary equipment and expertise to carry out these tasks safely and effectively. They can also check the system for any damage that the leak may have caused and take necessary corrective measures.

The Role of Regular Maintenance

Routine maintenance plays a critical role in preventing refrigerant leaks. Regular inspections by HVAC professionals can identify potential weak points in the refrigerant lines and take necessary preventive action. Additionally, regular tune-ups ensure that the system operates at peak efficiency, reducing the strain on the components and minimizing the chances of leaks developing in the first place. 

The Environmental Perspective

Refrigerant leaks have an environmental impact as well. Many older AC units use refrigerants that, if leaked, contribute to ozone layer depletion. Even the newer, more environmentally friendly refrigerants contribute to global warming if released into the atmosphere. Therefore, promptly addressing refrigerant leaks is not just about maintaining your AC's performance; it's also about doing your part for the environment.

Contact a company like Bud's Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning & Electric to learn more.

About Me
It's More Important Than You Think

I used to routinely get calls from HVAC contractors in my area offering annual maintenance contracts. As soon they would identify themselves, I would quickly say no thank you and hang up. After all, my heating and cooling system was working fine. Why would I spend money on services I clearly didn't need? Boy was I wrong! A few years ago, my AC unit suddenly stopped working. I called my HVAC contractor to have it repaired and assumed that my warranty would pick up the bill. That was until I learned my warranty was voided due to a lack of maintenance. Out of nowhere, my decision to ignore those maintenance calls was about to cost me more than a $1,000. I know there are others out there like me. It is my hope that this site will provide them with the knowledge they need to avoid the mistakes I made.