The heart of your air conditioner, that which makes it function, is the freon/refrigerant in your cooling coils. When an air conditioner is operating correctly this refrigerant changes from a gas to a liquid over and over again within the coils. During this process, heat is extracted from the air, and thus the air conditioner does its job. Not having refrigerant in the coils or having a low amount is like trying to live without or very little blood. It just isn’t happening and will require a repair.
Causes of Leaks
The freon never “runs out” or needs to be replaced throughout the life of the air conditioner, unless of course there is a leak. Refrigerant leaks can be caused by a large variety of things:
- Unit Vibration
- Physical Damage (from lawnmowers, storms, debris, pets etc.)
- Age and Stress
- Old and Worn-Out Service Valves
Locating the Leak
There are several ways to find a leak in your cooling coils. Some are rather mundane which others can get a little technical. It is important to note, the because Freon and refrigerants are harmful to the atmosphere, all work done to fix a leak must be done by a certified professional.
- Visual Inspection
- A High-Viscosity Liquid Leak Detector
- Electronic Detection
- Ultraviolet Leak Detection
- Nitrogen Isolation Test
Without proper levels of refrigerant, your cooling system won’t cool as effectively and could be hurting the atmosphere. If your AC is experiencing difficulty cooling the air. It is time to call out a service tech to diagnose the problem. If it is a cooling leak, you’ll need the tech there for repair anyway.