Air conditioners are far more than luxuries around here when summer temperatures rise and the weather gets hot. If your system breaks down, you may be tempted to attempt repairs on the system for yourself, perhaps in order to save a little money. This is a serious mistake. Air conditioners contain potentially dangerous chemicals like refrigerant, which requires formal training and licensing to handle safely. Indeed, refrigerant problems rank among the most common issues your air conditioner may face.
How Does Refrigerant Work?
Many people assume that refrigerant is consumed by the air conditioner, the same way that a car consumes gas or oil. The refrigerant is not consumed, however, and in fact the air conditioner requires a set amount of a very specific type in order to function. (The exact amount and type depends on the make and model of the air conditioner.)
The refrigerant moves in an endless loop, first shifting to liquid form (which bleeds heat off of it in the process) and placed under a great deal of pressure. The pressurized refrigerant then passes through a valve into a series of coils, where it expands back into gaseous form: pulling heat from the surrounding air in the process. The cool air can then be blown into your home through the ducts, while the refrigerant returns to the start of the cycle to begin the whole process anew.
Leaks Cause Problems
Again, the cooling process relies on a set amount of refrigerant to work. Leaks aren’t support to spring up in the system – making the refrigerant essentially a limitless resource – but sometimes they do. When that happens, they throw the delicate balance required by the system off. Frost of ice will form on the coils, which not only represents lost cooling potential, but forms an insulating barrier between the remaining refrigerant and the air it’s trying to cool.
Even worse, that forces the air conditioner to work harder to do its job, which not only raises your monthly bills, but adds strain to the rest of the system. Furthermore, since your air conditioner will likely run for longer periods of time in such circumstances, more refrigerant is likely to be lost and the effect begins to cascade. If not properly treated, it will eventually cause a serious breakdown, and while refrigerant leaks are comparatively simple to uncover and fix, a larger component is apt to cost you a great deal of money.
Always Get a Professional
Refrigerant leaks mean that you are vulnerable to a potentially dangerous chemical, which is why you should always call in a repair technician if you ever suspect you have one. A repair technician can pinpoint the source of the leak, seal it safely, and recharge refrigerant levels to their specified amounts. In fact, this can often be conducted as part of a regular servicing session, which fixes other problems such as loose bolts in addition to ensuring that refrigerant levels are where they’re supposed to be just as summer starts.
For servicing and air conditioning repair in Delaware, call on Atlantic Refrigeration & Air Conditioning, Inc.