Whether you have a residential or commercial HVAC system, it needs to be regularly maintained by a professional air conditioning replacement contractor to keep it running smoothly. They’ll know how to troubleshoot any issue they may find during inspection and maintenance to prevent further damage and costly repairs later on. But even if your unit is managed by a trusted HVAC technician, it’s still important to understand the basics of how your AC works. Understanding even just the basic principles will make a difference in you knowing what to do should something unexpected happen.
With over three-quarters of Americans having one installed in their homes, an AC system is meant to keep things cool and comfortable when temperatures rise during the spring and summer months. In order for ACs to stay in peak condition, they have to be pressurized at all times. This means you shouldn’t see any leaks around or underneath your system. But even if you don’t see any visible leaks, you may have noticed recently that your air conditioner isn’t blowing as much cool air as it used to.
If you’re feeling uncomfortable indoors even though your AC system is running, then there may be a leak somewhere that isn’t immediately visible. There could be other problems with your system as well, but if you think that your AC has lost its cooling capability, it may be due to a refrigerant leak. We recommend getting a recharge from a trusted air conditioning replacement contractor like Air Products & Services.
How AC Units Are Recharged
Air conditioners have compressors and evaporators that use refrigerant to keep your home cool by absorbing the heat from warm air and turning it into cool conditioned air. Without it, your unit won’t produce cold air and can overheat if there’s a leak. While most AC units are designed to not need to be charged, there will be times when unexpected leaks occur. When this happens to your AC system, it will cause a loss of pressure, and there won’t be sufficient refrigerant for it to function properly.
You might be capable of finding the source of the leaks on your own, but it’s strongly recommended not to attempt to charge it yourself. Even if you have the equipment necessary for a recharge, only an experienced AC repair technician will know exactly how much your unit needs. Doing it on your own will also void the manufacturer’s warranty, which is why you should leave it to the professionals. And when you take advantage of our services, you won’t have to worry about a leaking HVAC system, since we’ll find and properly repair the source of the refrigerant leak before doing a recharge.
The Telltale Signs
- Reduced cooling – You could already be experiencing this problem even if you don’t see any leaks around your AC unit. Reduced cooling means there’s not enough refrigeration to cool the air blown out of your unit despite setting it to the lowest possible temperature. This type of issue will just lead to more energy consumption and even premature breakdown, so make sure to have it inspected and recharged by a technician as soon as possible.
- Visible leaks – If you happen to notice a greasy film underneath your AC unit, this is a sure sign that you have a refrigerant leak. Locating the source of the leak will be difficult to do on your own, and even if you do manage to find it, you’ll likely be unable to fix it yourself without voiding the warranty. Instead, make sure to call in a professional AC repair technician to address the issue as soon as possible. They’ll know how to properly seal the leak in your AC unit and recharge it with the right amount of refrigerant.
- Faulty thermostat – Sometimes, a faulty thermostat can indicate a leak or a problem with low refrigerant. To determine if this is really the problem or if the thermostat is just on the wrong setting, switch it to auto and see if this makes a difference. If you think that the air being pumped out of your unit isn’t getting any cooler, call in a technician to check and address refrigerant leaks.
- Hissing noises – If you don’t see any visible leaks or think that your AC unit is running fine, you still need to determine whether it needs to be repaired by a professional technician. Listen to your unit closely for any type of hissing or bubbling noise. If you hear such sounds, you can be certain that refrigerant is leaking from somewhere within your AC unit. It would be a good idea to let us inspect it for you; we have solid AC troubleshooting protocol we follow in which we not only seal leaks and recharge your unit, but also find and address any type of problem that could cause more damage later on.
Should You Recharge or Replace Your AC Unit?
Usually, if the source of the leaking refrigerant is just a small hole, it can be soldered or sealed by a technician. After a proper recharge, your AC unit should be running in peak condition again. However, depending on the type of leak and which parts need to be replaced, a full replacement may be more cost-effective. For instance, you might have noticed that you’re spending money on frequent recharges despite having located and sealed the supposed source of the leak. This usually means there’s more than one leak in your unit, which can be problematic if not properly taken care of.
You’ll also need to consider the age of your AC unit when deciding between a recharge or a full replacement. A proper recharge should suffice if your unit is under 10 years old, but you can expect more frequent charges and additional maintenance if it’s 15 years or older. If this is the case, consider a full replacement instead, because not only will you get a brand-new AC unit, it will also run more smoothly and efficiently. This means you won’t have to worry about having low refrigerant or any type of leak. Of course, it will still require regular maintenance by a trusted technician to spot and address any potential leaks or other issues!
At Air Products & Services, we follow trusted. reputable AC troubleshooting protocol to ensure your system is safely maintained and cared for! If you live in Tarzana and nearby areas in CA, give us a call at (818) 989-2030 or submit an online form.