AirMaster BannerAs the summer heat sets in, having a properly functioning air conditioner becomes crucial. One of the common issues homeowners face with their AC units is refrigerant leaking. Refrigerant is vital for your air conditioner’s cooling process so it’s important to know what to do when you suspect a leak.

What Is Leaking from Your Air Conditioner?

When your air conditioner starts dripping or forming puddles, you’ll first want to identify whether the leak is water or refrigerant. Here are some ways to distinguish between the two:

Water Leaks: Water leaks are generally caused by condensation or a blocked drainage line. Signs include:

  • Water pooling around the indoor unit.
  • Dampness or stains on nearby walls or ceilings.
  • Mold or mildew growth near the AC unit.

Refrigerant Leaks: Refrigerant leaks are more serious and can affect your AC’s efficiency. Signs include:

  • Hissing or bubbling sounds from the unit.
  • Reduced cooling performance.
  • Increased energy bills.
  • Ice forming on the evaporator coils.

If you’re unsure, it’s best to have a professional HVAC technician inspect your unit to determine the source of the leak so it can be dealt with appropriately.

Should You Refill Your AC’s Refrigerant?

Because air conditioners are designed to be closed systems, a properly functioning system won’t leak or need periodic refrigerant refills. Refrigerant doesn’t go bad or degrade over time, so if your AC isn’t leaking, there’s no need to replace the existing fluid in the unit during tune-ups.

However, if your unit has lost refrigerant due to a leak, getting it refilled is essential for it to be able to run and cool your home properly. Here are some reasons why a refill is necessary:

  • Optimal Cooling Performance: Low refrigerant levels result in insufficient cooling, making your home uncomfortable during hot days.
  • Energy Efficiency: An AC unit with adequate refrigerant operates efficiently, leading to lower energy consumption and reduced utility bills.
  • Preventing Damage: Running an air conditioner with low refrigerant can cause the compressor to overheat and fail, leading to costly repairs.

Is It Time to Replace Your AC System?

Repeated leaks typically signify deeper issues with your AC that can’t be fixed with simple refills in the long term. While we are happy to provide AC refrigerant refills in the short term, the service is a temporary band-aid for a larger problem that may require a full AC replacement in the future.

If leaks persist, some reasons you may want to consider replacing your AC system include:

  • Old Age: Older AC units are more prone to leaks due to wear and tear. If your system is over 10-15 years old, it might be time to upgrade.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Constantly refilling refrigerant and repairing leaks can become expensive. Investing in a new, efficient system can save you money in the long run.
  • Environmental Concerns: Many older units use R-22 refrigerant, which is being phased out due to its environmental impact. Newer systems use more eco-friendly refrigerants.

AC Refrigerant Refills in Philadelphia, PA

Addressing refrigerant leaks promptly is crucial to maintaining a comfortable and energy-efficient home. Schedule service with our experienced HVAC team based in Philadelphia for an accurate diagnosis and solution to your leaking AC issues!