If your HVAC system isn’t working properly, it could be due to a refrigerant leak. If you’re not sure where to start looking for a potential leak, you can check around the equipment to see if you can spot any problems. Below, we’ll show you exactly where you can check for leaks and how to troubleshoot them with the help of an experienced HVAC professional.
Refrigerant leaks aren’t uncommon for any air conditioning system, whether it be a central AC, a window unit, or a ductless system. Knowing what kind of issues you’re most likely to see can help you resolve the problem as quickly as possible to reduce the cost and discomfort of a refrigerant leak. Let’s take a look at several of the most common issues:
The evaporator coils are responsible for absorbing heat from the air in your home, but over time, these coils can become corroded or damaged, which can cause a refrigerant leak. If you suspect an evaporator coil leak, check for frost or ice buildup on the coils. You may also hear a hissing sound coming from the coils.
Condenser coils are another common place for refrigerant leaks. These coils are responsible for releasing the heat collected from the air. They can also degrade over time, causing the same problem as above in a different place. You can also check condenser coils for ice or frost accumulation, or listen for a hissing noise escaping from the coils when everything is quiet.
Valves and connectors may have weak junctions or may not be properly assembled, which can allow refrigerant to escape from tiny cracks or open spaces where the materials aren’t flush with one another. Check for wetness or a hissing sound around the connectors and valves in your ductless system – if you find that a valve is leaking liquid or is wet to the touch, this could be refrigerant.
The copper tubing that connects the outdoor condenser to the indoor unit is another place refrigerant leaks commonly occur. These tubes can rust or corrode with harsh weather or neglected maintenance, or they may become damaged by hail, flying debris, or other objects. You can check for a leak in your heat pump tubing by rubbing a solution of dish soap and water over the tubes and looking for any bubbles that may form.
Here are a few more expert tips for locating a refrigerant leak in your HVAC system:
If you think you have a refrigerant leak, you can also use a good-quality leak detector. A leak detector can help you pinpoint the location of the leak so you can call to have it repaired quickly. There are a few different types of leak detectors on the market, so be sure to choose one that is specifically designed for HVAC systems.
If you’re still not sure whether or not you have a refrigerant leak, it’s best to hire an experienced HVAC professional to come to take a look at your system. They have the equipment needed to quickly diagnose the problem and make any repairs. This is especially important when there’s extreme weather and your AC isn’t cooling efficiently or your heater isn’t keeping up with frigid New York temperatures.
An HVAC technician can use a special UV dye to identify leaks in your system by adding the dye to your refrigerant to trace the path of the leak. As the treated refrigerant flows through your system, the technician will use a black light lamp to look over your coils, tubing, valves, and other components to identify any places where refrigerant may be escaping the system. However, the dye is not available to consumers and this diagnostic tool must be used by a professional.
If you suspect that your HVAC system has a refrigerant leak, it’s important to take action quickly. The more refrigerant that leaks, the more you’ll have to replace when you have the system repaired and the higher your maintenance costs will be. Additionally, leaking refrigerant can not only cause your heat pump to stop working properly, but it can also be harmful to the environment.
At Jones Services, we can help repair issues with your HVAC system efficiently and affordably – call today for more information or to schedule maintenance by dialing (845) 286-9603.