An air conditioner that is leaking refrigerant will not only function improperly, leaving home temperatures much higher than they should be, but it will also cause home utility bills to soar along with the temperature. Many homeowners are completely unaware of how to tell if their AC units are leaking refrigerant until the system completely ceases to work and they are forced to call a professional for assistance. By the time this happens, repair bills will be significantly higher than if the problem were nipped in the bud. Here are six ways to tell that your household air conditioning unit may be leaking refrigerant:
Overly High Energy Usage
If your utility bills indicate you're using more energy than normal, it could mean your air conditioner is having to work harder than usual to keep up with the demands of your household. One of the most common reasons for this is because the unit is leaking refrigerant. Your utility company will be able to provide you with information concerning times when your household energy usage is at its highest.
Your Home Doesn't Cool Down Quickly After Turning The Unit On
If you notice a significant lag between the time you turn your air conditioner on and when your home interior is comfortably cool, this may be another indication that your system is leaking refrigerant. Although this may be a normal occurrence when outdoor temperatures rise quickly, it can indicate low refrigerant levels if it happens on a consistent basis.
The Airflow Coming From Registers Is Low
The airflow coming from the registers of a well-functioning air conditioning unit should be fairly strong and steady. If it feels faint when you hold your hand in front of it, that can possibly mean that your refrigerant levels are low due to leakage.
The Airflow Coming From Registers Is Warm
Warm air coming from an air conditioning register is almost always a sure sign that the unit's refrigerant levels are low. Place the back of your hand close to the register and leave it there for several seconds. If you feel warmth coming from it, you should contact a local air conditioning service and repair company and schedule an appointment.
There Is Water On The Floor By The Unit
Water on the floor in the vicinity of your air conditioning unit is another strong indication that refrigerant is leaking. Low refrigerant levels cause buildup of ice along the evaporator coils, which can clog up the condensation line and cause condensed water to overflow onto the floor. Although it sounds contradictory, ice buildup is a common sign of low refrigerant levels in household air conditioning units.
There Is An Odd Hissing Noise Coming From The Unit
A hissing noise coming from your air conditioning unit usually means that you've got a leak somewhere. Refrigerant can escape even through the tiniest of punctures, and a hissing sound is often the first indication that something is wrong with your unit. Paying attention to any unusual noises that your air conditioner makes might possibly save you from having to pay uncomfortably high repair bills.
Keep in mind that running your air conditioning unit when it is low on refrigerant can potentially result in significant damage to the air compressor, creating much higher repair bills than if you'd scheduled an inspection from a professional HVAC professional at the first sign that your air conditioning unit may be leaking refrigerant. Refrigerant leaks aren't the only issue that can cause your air conditioning system to malfunction, so be sure to have your system inspected by a qualified professional like Redlands Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning on a regular basis.