Skip navigation

Proudly Serving Hamilton, OH Since 1973


Bartels Heating & Cooling Blog

AC Tip: Even Small Refrigerant Leaks Are Big Trouble

AC-toolsWe always make a point of stressing that, really, there is no such thing as a “minor” problem with one’s air conditioning system. Sure, there are those problems that are not quite emergencies, but the fact of the matter is that even relatively “minor” problems with your air conditioner are going to do real damage to your system if given the time. The fact that this damage is not instantaneous does not mean that it’s not worth fixing the problem immediately.

Now, that being said, there are also those problems that absolutely must be dealt with as swiftly as possible. This is certainly the case when it comes to refrigerant leaks with your air conditioning system. A refrigerant may not render your air conditioner inoperable as soon as it develops. Ignore the problem long enough,  though, and the results can be so damaging that you may need to replace your system entirely. Read on to learn more about why refrigerant leaks demand immediate AC repair in Middletown, OH.

The Cooling Process Hinges on the Refrigerant Cycle

Unless you’re using an evaporative cooler, which, frankly, you wouldn’t be in this part of the country, you are using an air conditioner that utilizes the refrigerant cycle in order to cool your home. Refrigerant serves as the heat transfer fluid in this process, and it is very good for the job. Why? Because refrigerant is able to easily switch between physical states, from gas to liquid and back again.

When your AC cools your home, it doesn’t create “coolness” the way that a furnace or boiler generates new heat. It cools your home by removing heat from the air, and that is done by evaporating refrigerant in the indoor “evaporator” coil. The refrigerant draws heat out of the air as it evaporates, and releases its heat into the air outside when it is condensed in the outdoor unit.

Your System Needs the Right Amount of Refrigerant to Function Properly

If your air conditioner does not have the right amount of refrigerant in place, then it will struggle to cool your home effectively and efficiently. It is important to remember that your air conditioner does not consume refrigerant. Instead, it recycles refrigerant throughout the system over and over.

That means that a low refrigerant charge is either the result of an improper charge at the time of installation—not if we installed the system!—or you’ve sprung a leak. Either way, the problem must be resolved and the refrigerant recharged as soon as possible if you want your system to be put back on track.

Yes, Running a System on Low Refrigerant Causes Trouble

Your evaporator coil may get too cold as it is unable to remove heat from the air effectively. That can cause condensation to freeze on the coil, which creates an insulating layer of ice that only makes matters worse. Your system may start to overheat, leading to short cycling, which can result in higher energy costs and the potential for increased repair needs.

Eventually, your compressor could fail. While repairs may sometimes be possible, the cost of the repairs would typically be so high that replacing the system entirely is a better option. Don’t let such problems result from refrigerant leaks in your air conditioning system.

Schedule your AC repairs with Bartels Heating & Cooling.

Comments are closed.