What to Expect From a Refrigerant Leak
GRmetro Heating and Cooling is a locally owned and operated HVAC company serving homeowners throughout Grand Rapids, Michigan and the surrounding areas.
Refrigerant leaks are not normal. When your heat pump or air conditioner is set up on the first day you get it, it’s charged with enough refrigerant to theoretically last its entire lifespan. Only when something goes wrong, like through constant weathering or a repair need that crops up, does your system need more refrigerant. So, if you’re noticing that your system requires refrigerant recharges every few months, you’re likely suffering from a leak.
Are there other ways to tell if you’re suffering from a refrigerant leak? Absolutely. We’ll cover all of those signs today.
In regards to what needs to be done when you notice a leak coming from your HVAC in Grand Rapids, MI, this is a bit more complicated. Either the leak needs to be patched by a professional, or you’re suffering from a more insidious problem that requires a closer look.
Ways to Tell You’re Dealing with a Leak
Refrigerant leaks aren’t always obvious. Sometimes an air conditioner can seem completely normal but, in reality, it’s slowly siphoning away excess energy and money from your wallet because it doesn’t have the optimal amount of refrigerant inside of it. Regardless of how your refrigerant leak came to be, it’s important in the here and now for you to catch it and address it with the help of a professional. Here are a few ways to detect a refrigerant leak:
- High energy bills. Low refrigerant levels mean your system is consuming more energy to do the same job it was fitted for. This will show itself as a rise in your month-to-month energy bills.
- Poor comfort. If your system doesn’t have enough refrigerant to function properly, it’s not going to. You’ll likely see it struggle to meet the demands on your thermostat, even if they’re pretty average (like setting your thermostat to the mid-70s and your AC still can’t keep you comfortable.).
- Bubbling and hissing. This is an obvious sign that your system is leaking refrigerant. If you hear the classic bubbling and hissing noise, then you need help with your refrigerant leak.
- Strange smells. When refrigerant leaks into your home or on your property, it can smell sweet like chloroform. It’s bad to inhale and the moment you notice you’re smelling this strange scent come from your AC’s refrigerant lines, you need to call our team ASAP.
What Needs to Be Done?
This is the tricky part. Luckily, you’ve got the help of qualified professionals to make it not-so-tricky.
- Patch the line. Most of the time, a refrigerant leak is just that—a refrigerant leak. A quick patch job should do the trick and our professionals would much rather prefer doing this than something more intense, especially if it saves you money.
- Replace the system. Sometimes refrigerant leaks can continuously happen due to improper system sizing, or a botched installation. This is more complicated, and unfortunately just patching the leak isn’t going to solve your problem. You might be better off with a total system replacement. We’ll talk you through the process if we think this is the right path to take.