A functioning air conditioning unit during the hot Arizona summers is a must. If your air conditioner loses refrigerant, it can cause severe problems in your home’s air conditioning system and may end up requiring an AC repair. Since you can’t see the refrigerant level in your air conditioner, it can be challenging to determine whether the unit is losing refrigerant.

Why Does an Air Conditioner Lose Refrigerant?

Poor Installation

If your unit is new and leaks refrigerant, the culprit is probably poor installation. The joint system in your air conditioner needs to be brazed to seal them shut. Even a minor error in the brazing process can leave a small hole that can lead to a serious leak over time. HVAC professionals who provide AC installation will know this, but if you opt to try to do it yourself or hire someone you simply know as a handy person, there may be issues with installation.

Manufacturer Defects

Some modern air conditioner manufacturers opt to use thinner coils because it is easier for energy to transfer through the thinner material. However, this increases the possibility of line breaks, kinks, or erosion. There is also a chance of a unit having incomplete welds or getting damaged during shipping.

Accidental Damage

Something as simple as a rock thrown while mowing grass or a nail puncturing a line can lead to a refrigerant leak. The air conditioning unit may be damaged when something comes into contact with the unit’s coils or components.

Failed or Cracked Welds

Aging and frequent use contribute to the wear and tear of the AC unit. The welds in your air conditioning unit are made up of different metals that react differently when exposed to extreme fluctuations in temperature. Over time, these welds can crack or fail, making way for a refrigerant leak.

Formic Acid

Formic acid is a byproduct of many materials used in modern buildings. When it is released, it can be corrosive to copper. Over time, it can eat away at the copper tubes that make up the coils inside your air conditioner. The lines can develop microscopic leaks that eventually become more serious.

Signs That Your AC Is Losing Refrigerant

The primary reason air conditioners lose refrigerant is because the system leaks. Leaks are most common at connection points along the refrigerant lines. Even if you can’t see the leak, some indicators show that your AC may be losing refrigerant.

For example, if the humidity in your home starts to rise during the summer, this could indicate a leak in your AC unit. An air conditioner is not a dehumidifier. However, one of the ways it can cool a home is by removing humidity. When the AC is not functioning correctly or when there’s not sufficient refrigerant running through the system, this dehumidifying capability is decreased.

You may hear a hissing sound from your air conditioner that is caused by a high-pressure refrigerant leaking from a crack or a loose connector. If your unit has insufficient refrigerant, the coils cannot heat up enough. The remaining refrigerant becomes too cold, causing the moisture around the coil to freeze. If you see any freezing on your air conditioner, it could be caused by a refrigerant leak. This freezing may be accompanied by an oily residue near or around the air conditioner.

Insufficient refrigerant can lead to a damaged compressor. If there is not sufficient refrigerant, the compressor overheats and burns out. This significant repair could require you to replace your entire unit.

A final indicator of a refrigerant leak could be an increase in your electric bill. Losing refrigerant forces the unit to run inefficiently, requiring more energy. A refrigerant leak is not something that you can fix yourself. The refrigerant can be dangerous, and it is under high pressure. Trust the HVAC professionals at El Indio AC to help identify the source of the refrigerant leak and to fix things quickly.

Quality Heating and Cooling in Tolleson and the West Valley

At El Indio AC, we have provided trustworthy HVAC services in our area since 2002. We offer same-day service and 24/7 emergency services. We’re a Lennox Specialist who has met and exceeded the manufacturer’s high standard for HVAC excellence. Our certified technicians are committed to providing top-notch customer service with unmatched workmanship. We are proud to be an A+ Better Business Bureau-accredited business.

Our services include HVAC installation, repair, and maintenance. We install heat pumps and can inspect, repair, and install ductwork. We offer home automation services. We are happy to assist our customers in English and Spanish. Don’t suffer through a hot Arizona summer without your air conditioner. Contact El Indio AC today, and let us help you make your home a comfortable place to live!

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