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Atlantic Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, Inc. Blog

Common Signs That Point to a Refrigerant Leak

Refrigerant is a perfectly safe chemical to have inside of your air conditioner—unless it starts to leak out of the refrigerant lines. Leaking refrigerant can pose major hazards for your home and your family, so if you suspect a leak, you need to schedule an appointment for AC repair in Sussex County, DE right away.

You can also keep reading to learn more about three signs that can indicate you have a refrigerant leak. Noticing one of the signs is serious, but having two or more of them makes it more likely that you do indeed have a refrigerant leak.

Signs of the Refrigerant Leak

There are three signs that you should watch for that indicate you have a refrigerant leak. The first is noticing a change in air conditioning output. Instead of having cold air blowing out of the vents around your home, the air may be lukewarm or only slightly cool. 

As a result, your AC will never be able to keep up with cooling your home as much as you want, no matter what you set the thermostat to. This is because with less refrigerant in the lines thanks to a leak, not as much heat can be absorbed to transfer outside.

When refrigerant leaks out, you may hear a hissing or bubbling sound. As refrigerant moves through the lines between your indoor unit and your outdoor unit, it expands into a gas and compresses back down into a liquid during each cooling cycle. Depending on whether it is a liquid or gas in the portion of the line, you may hear hissing or bubbling.

These sounds can be quiet, so you may have to listen closely and pay attention to the other signs of a leak, too. You’ll hear hissing if the leak happens where the refrigerant is in its gas form, and bubbling if the leak happens where it’s in a liquid form. 

The sound may be accompanied by a slightly sweet chemical odor. The smell will get stronger the closer you are to the leak, but even if you identify a leak, you should not attempt to clean it up on your own. Instead, turn your air conditioner off and leave the cleanup and repair to our team for your safety.

Risks of a Refrigerant Leak

As we already mentioned, refrigerant is a chemical. If you breathe in the fumes, it can cause respiratory issues. Touching the refrigerant can also burn your skin, so it is very important for you, your children, and your pets to stay far away from a refrigerant leak.

It’s important to call for service right away because refrigerant can also damage other air conditioning components or your home where it is leaking out. If possible, turn off your air conditioner completely until our team can repair the lines. This can help reduce the amount of damage the refrigerant has a chance to inflict.

At Atlantic Refrigeration & Air Conditioning, Inc., “We Take Pride in Your Comfort!” Call us for all your air conditioning needs in Delaware and the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

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