There is so much information you can find right here, online. Unfortunately, not all of it is true. It’s probably a bit ironic that we’re admitting that in a blog post! Nevertheless, we want to share a common misconception that homeowners believe, which could actually be damaging to your comfort and to your air conditioning system.
That misconception is in regards to refrigerant, what it is, and how it works. Read on as we dive in!
Refrigerant Is There to Cool, Not to Fuel
The most common misconception folks have about refrigerant is that it is actually used to power the air conditioner. You may have even heard at some point that refrigerant to an air conditioner is like gasoline is to a car.
This is just not true. Like many of your home appliances, your air conditioner runs on electricity to operate. Refrigerant is a cooling substance that absorbs the heat from your living space and coverts it between liquid to gas using evaporation and compression, to return chilled air back into your home.
Upon manufacturing, air conditioners are supplied with enough refrigerant to ideally last the systems’ entire lifespan. This level of refrigerant is called the systems’ refrigerant charge, and it doesn’t get “used up” as fuel does.
So, what if your air conditioner is losing refrigerant? Well, it means that you have a leak!
Due to normal wear-and-tear from consistent use, refrigerant line leaks can definitely happen. Leaks lead to a number of problems that impact the system itself and impact your comfort. if not repaired, it can cause the AC compressor to fail completely and you could find yourself in need of a new air conditioner.
Do You Have a Refrigerant Leak?
There are, fortunately, a few signs you can keep in mind that might indicate your air conditioner is experiencing a refrigerant leak. As soon as you suspect it, please give us a call!
- Your Home Doesn’t Seem Cool Enough: Perhaps you’re running your air conditioner just like you always have, but you’re noticing it just doesn’t seem to be keeping you cool. This can be a sign of a refrigerant leak.
- You Hear a Hissing or Bubbling Sound: Depending on where it is in the system, a refrigerant line leak could make a hissing or bubbling noise as it escapes.
- The System is Short-Cycling: This is when the air conditioner runs in short, frequent bursts, never actually completing a full cooling cycle. This can exacerbate wear and tear in your system, leading to premature breakdowns and potentially even shortening the lifespan of your air conditioner.
- You’re Spending Too Much On Your Energy Bills: Have you noticed that your utility bills are a lot higher this summer than they were this same time last year? This is a sign that something in your home is working inefficiently, and it could very well be your air conditioner to blame. After all, HVAC systems account for half of all the energy use in any given home, and efficiency problems can certainly come from refrigerant leaks.