There are certain issues with your air conditioning system that you may be tempted to ignore, particularly if it is still up and running and you don’t want to interrupt its performance during a particularly hot stretch of weather. What you have to remember, though, is that even seemingly “minor” problems with your air conditioner could be caused by much more serious problems. Over time, those problems can lead to more and more serious symptoms, until the entire operation of your air conditioner is in jeopardy.
One of the most serious and most insidious problems that you can encounter with your air conditioning system is the refrigerant leak. If your air conditioner is leaking refrigerant, then there is simply no way in which it will function at peak operating levels. Worse yet, the strain put on the system by running it with low refrigerant can cause big trouble over time, including eventual compressor failure. Spotting refrigerant leaks early on is important, so here are some tips for protecting your air conditioner in Miami, FL.
What Does Refrigerant Do?
It is a little hard to fully appreciate how serious refrigerant leaks really are if you are not really familiar with the way in which refrigerant functions within your air conditioner. Put simply, refrigerant is the heat transfer fluid that actually allows your air conditioner to remove heat from the air that it redistributes throughout your home. If there is not enough refrigerant, then the cooling process will be seriously impeded.
Refrigerant is evaporated in the system’s evaporator coil, and it is the evaporation of refrigerant that allows it to absorb heat from the air passing over that coil. The refrigerant then travels to the outdoor condenser unit, where it is condensed and sheds the heat that it has removed from your home.
How to Recognize Refrigerant Leaks
The only way to be certain that you have a refrigerant leak is to enlist the service of a professional AC technician to have the system assessed. You can, however, recognize some warning signs that may indicate the presence of a leak.
Longer system run times could mean that you have a refrigerant leak. Because there is an insufficient amount of refrigerant in the system, your air conditioner is going to have to run longer than it otherwise would in order to remove enough heat from your home to reach your target temperatures.
Short cycling, a condition in which your system runs only in short bursts before cycling down and then starting up again, is another indicator that you may have low refrigerant levels. The system may be struggling to remove heat so much that the compressor is overheating. The system will shut down to avoid damages.
Ice on the evaporator coil, particularly when there is also frost on the refrigerant lines themselves, is another telling symptom. Basically, the refrigerant level is low enough that the coil cannot absorb enough heat. That lets the coil get too cold, and condensation can freeze up on it.
Let One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating® of Miami handle your air conditioning repair services.