It’s officially still winter, but even now, temperatures are starting to climb. Soon enough, you’ll have need of your air conditioner on a daily basis, and if yours features any sign of trouble, now is the time to get it dealt with. It will save you time, and often a fair amount of money too.
Among the most common problems with air conditioning systems is a refrigerant leak, which robs the system of one of its most vital components. Refrigerant is potentially very dangerous and requires a professional service technician to deal with, but if you spot the signs of low refrigerant, you can call for repairs and potentially save yourself a lot of grief.
How Does Refrigerant Work?
Many people assume that air conditioners consume refrigerant the way an automobile consumes fuel or oil. Nothing could be further from the truth. Refrigerant is not consumed during the cooling process, but rather cycles through an endless loop that cools the air. It begins in gaseous form, before being placed under a great deal of pressure. That pressure creates heat, which is bled off and vented from your home with the outside portion of the air conditioner. The refrigerant shifts to liquid form, still under a great deal of pressure.
From there, it moves through a valve that releases a set amount of the liquid refrigerant into a series of coils, where it expands and shifts back into a gas. As it does so, it pulls heat from the air surrounding the coils. The refrigerant then returns to the start of the cycle while the cool air can be blown into your home with a fan.
Leaks Are a Problem
The refrigerant operates in what is theoretically a closed system that never leaks. Unfortunately, we live in the real world, and no matter how fastidiously we maintain them, sooner or later leaks will spring up. When they do, it throws off the delicate balance required to make the cooling process work. Each make and model of air conditioner depends on a specific kind of refrigerant in a specific amount to function properly. Without that, the air conditioner will have to work harder to do its job: raising both the monthly cost of running the system and the strain on other components in the air conditioner.
Even worse, frost and ice will form on the coils, which insulates the remaining refrigerant from the air it needs to cool. This will make the problem worse and worse until a serious breakdown occurs. Sealing the leak and recharging the refrigerant is easy and inexpensive compared to the level of damage that can be inflicted if the problem is ignored. A trained technician can pinpoint the source of the leak, seal it, and recharge the refrigerant safely and properly: restoring your system to full functionality.
If you suspect a refrigerant leak or need air conditioning repairs in your Sacramento, CA home, call on the friendly professionals at Sierra Pacific Home & Comfort, Inc. today to make an appointment!