Maintaining an operational HVAC unit is critical to keeping your home comfortable year-round. That unit is full of lots of interconnected joints and tubes and hoses and other parts, and that creates a lot of opportunities for something to go wrong – just like any other appliance.
One potential problem you might encounter is an unfortunate leak of the refrigerant whose job it is to keep the moving parts cool. Refrigerant leaks are potentially problematic if left untreated, which is why it’s so important to spot them early. Acree Plumbing, Air & Electric will tell you why!
How Does a Leak Occur?
Like we said, most every appliance in your home contains a complicated set of moving parts. It’s not out of the question, then, that eventually the wear and tear of daily use will wear one down or knock something loose.
That’s the case for a lot of refrigerant leaks. A hose gets jarred off its seat or a tube cracks, and then you’ve got a leak on your hands.
The problem is usually that a leak might not be apparent right off the bat, which we’ll address next.
Signs You Have a Leak
Luckily, there are a couple of telltale signs you can identify to tell that some refrigerant has begun leaking somewhere.
- No Cool Air: When refrigerant leaks, it hampers the unit’s ability to effectively lower the temperature of the air. So even though your thermostat might be set fairly low, you won’t feel any different.
- Abnormally High Energy Bills: The lack of cooling power causes your unit to work harder to try and achieve that temperature, which ends up causing higher energy bills. Take a look at a few of your recent bills and see if they’ve gotten higher for some reason.
Got a Leak? Think About a Replacement
If you’ve inspected your unit – or had a professional do it instead – and determined you’ve got a leak, the next step should be to have it repaired, right?
Maybe. It depends on how your unit was assembled and what type of refrigerant is used in the first place. If your unit uses R22 refrigerant, then it might make more sense to just have an entirely new unit installed instead.
In 2010, the process to completely phase R22 out of use began. It’s been determined to have a harmful effect on the ozone layer and it adds to the greenhouse effect, so its days are numbered. By 2020, R22 will be completely banned, period.
So, if your unit uses R22 and it needs fixing, then it’s worth your time to consider whether a repair would be prudent. If your leak gets fixed but pops up again after 2020, then you won’t be able to have it repaired because that type of refrigerant won’t be around.
Acree Plumbing, Air & Electric: Your Go-To Refrigerant and AC Provider
No matter what you choose, Acree Plumbing, Air & Electric will be able to take care of it for you. From comprehensive HVAC service to IAQ inspections and everything in-between, we’ve got you covered.
Give us a call at (813) 524-6313!