Do You Have a Coolant Leak?

Man checking coolant on AC unit

With the summer heat steadily rising in Florida, you're likely running your home air conditioning system constantly. With regular use comes normal wear and tear. This is why regular maintenance is so important to the lifespan of your air conditioning unit, especially in hot places like Florida. Without regular maintenance, your AC could experience a variety of problems such as a coolant leak. Coolant, also known as refrigerant, is what helps your AC keep your home cool and comfortable. Without it, your system can't efficiently and adequately cool your home.

SIGNS OF A COOLANT LEAK

Does your AC have a coolant leak? If your AC is not able to retain the proper amount of coolant, then it will work much harder to cool your home and may even fail at it. Below are a few signs that your AC is experiencing a coolant leak:

1. LOSS OF COOLING POWER

Your AC's coolant is tasked with absorbing the heat from your home and releasing it outside. Low coolant levels will make your AC take a lot longer to cool your home than it would if coolant levels were normal. So if it's taking your AC longer than normal to cool your home, then it may be a sign that coolant levels are depleted.

2. HISSING SOUND

A coolant leak is caused by punctures or holes in the refrigerant lines. While a hissing sound can be caused by a variety of problems, a coolant leak is one of them. A hissing sound occurs as coolant leaks out of punctures, holes, or cracks in the refrigerant lines. If your AC is experiencing a larger leak, it may produce a gurgling sound.

3. FROZEN EVAPORATOR COILS

Insufficient coolant levels within your AC's evaporator coils can prevent the coils from absorbing heat as they normally would with adequate amounts of coolant. The condensation that builds up inside the coils can freeze over and even lead to a system breakdown. The frozen condensation will also begin to melt and drip onto the floor.

4. REGISTERS NOT BLOWING COOL AIR

While it may seem obvious, your AC's main job is to cool your home. Don't assume that you need to turn down your thermostat to get the desired temperature, especially if the previous temperature was once sufficient to keep your home cool. If warm air is coming from your AC's registers or vents, it is almost a sure sign that your coolant levels are low and your AC may be experiencing a leak.

5. LOW AIR FLOW

You may find that not only is your AC blowing warm air, but it's also not blowing out much air at all. Low coolant levels can cause your AC to have little to no airflow. If you put your hand next to the vents and find that there's little air blowing out, this could be a sign of a coolant leak.

6. HIGHER ENERGY BILL

When an air conditioning unit is experiencing a coolant leak, this means that it won't cool your home the way it should. Instead, it will work a lot harder and run longer to keep your home cool. When this happens, your energy bill can experience a big increase. Also, when your AC isn't blowing cool air, your natural reaction is to dial down the thermostat in hopes of achieving a comfortable temperature. Unfortunately, this could cause you to use more electricity, which could raise your energy bill even higher.

If you suspect that your AC is experiencing a refrigerant leak, contact a professional to determine if you have one and how to repair it. Contact American Air Cares today for more information.