Tag Archives: HVAC Leak Repair

How Refrigerant Leaks Impact Your AC Unit

Refrigerant leaks are a common problem with AC units in Arizona

Air conditioning systems are designed as closed systems, which are supposed to keep the air cool and dry, and any leakage in the pipelines can be catastrophic to the whole system. A refrigerant resembles the anti-freeze in your car, and is the substance that carries heat from your house and disperses it into the outdoor atmosphere.

Refrigerant does not dissipate or gets taken in, so there is no loss unless there is a leak in the one of the pipes or fittings.  HVAC professionals suggest that leaks be repaired without delay as they can worsen in time and cause the entire system to fail.  Rusty coils and oily residue are the most apparent indication that Refrigerant is leaking from your a/c system.

What Causes Refrigerant Leaks?

There are many possible reasons for leaks:

Weld joint fatigue: This is the most typical reason for Refrigerant leaking and impacts the evaporator coils in the attics. In extreme conditions, the coil can have a heat variety of 35 to 125 degrees, and can cycle through these conditions over a hundred times in a day. The weld joints consist of 2 metals that go through stress and pressure as they expand and contract at different rates depending on temperature. The pressure results in tiny fractures through which the refrigerant can leak out. Modern coils are designed to stand up to severe temperature level conditions for long periods of time.

Poor installation and welding strategies: The installation of air conditioning systems ought to be entrusted to only trusted HVAC specialists. Ensure your HVAC technician is properly trained and has experience installing and maintaining air conditioners.

Physical damage to the pipes: Nails and screws that are drilled through the walls to hold the line set can cause damage to the pipelines. Usually, it is tough to identify and repair such leakages because they lie behind the walls or other areas obscured from view.

Refrigerant Leak Repairs

There are a number of repair options for Refrigerant leakages:

Take care of the Leak: This is frequently a costly solution, and a proper leakage fix procedure includes the following:

  • Remove any remaining Refrigerant
  • Repair the leak by or the replace the defective component
  • Install a new filter or drier
  • Check for additional leaks by pressurizing the system
  • Vacuum the system and charge with Refrigerant

New refrigerant: Old refrigerant contains contaminants that can turn the system acidic.  This can wear down the components and pipes in the system. It is usually a good idea to replace the old refrigerant.

Leak Seal Treatment: This is a temporary fix that that can get you by for a short period of time before the formal repair is done.

Add more Refrigerant: There is no guarantee that it will work as it does not fix the leak. Eventually, the Refrigerant will leak out again.

Get a brand-new AC system: In case of significant damage, you might think about a full system replacement. The option of repair or replacement comes down to a financial choice of how long it will take you to recoup your costs. Talk with  an experienced HVAC technician to weigh the pro’s and con’s before making a choice.