Most people who live in warm climates use their air conditioner on a regular basis during the hot summer months. Thus, when something goes wrong with the air conditioner on a summer afternoon, it can be alarming. An air conditioning system is quite complex and is made up of many different components, but the good news is that a majority of A/C problems can be repaired by an experienced HVAC technician. One common issue that an air conditioner can experience is a coolant leak. Some of the signs that will help you recognize that your air conditioner has a coolant leak that needs to be repaired include the following.
Air Conditioner Is Not Blowing Cold Air
Coolant plays an important role in helping the air conditioner produce cold air by absorbing heat. In order to properly remove all of the heat from the air, an air conditioner must have an adequate coolant level. When there is a coolant leak, the level will drop, and there will not be enough coolant running through the system to properly absorb all of the heat. As the coolant level decreases, the air blowing into your home may not feel as cool and eventually may become lukewarm.
You Hear a Hissing Sound
When an air conditioner is in good working condition, the coolant is under pressure. In the event that a leak develops, the pressure will be disrupted as the coolant leaks out. A major sign of an air conditioner coolant leak is a pronounced hissing sound. Depending on where the coolant leak is located, you may hear the hissing outdoors near the condenser unit or indoors near the air handler. Never ignore strange sounds from your air conditioner, especially hissing — it is important to contact an HVAC technician as soon as possible to make the necessary repairs.
Electric Bills Increase
If your air conditioner has a minor coolant leak, it may still be able to produce cool air, but the system will be under a lot of stress. In this type of situation, you may notice that your air conditioner runs longer than usually or cycles on or off frequently as it tries to keep your home cool despite the fact that the coolant level is not what it should be. This type of activity will result in an electric bill that is higher than normal. When you have an electric bill that is higher than normal, it is a good idea to have your air conditioner inspected to see if there is a coolant leak.
Contact an A/C repair technician to learn more.