Freon plays an essential role in the function of modern-day air conditioning (AC) systems. After absorbing heat from inside your home, it travels outside to the condenser coil where it’s released, thus lowering your home’s ambient temperature. While a small Freon leak may seem harmless enough, though, it’s a serious problem than can cost you big bucks down the road.
Signs of Freon Leak
There are a few telltale signs that your AC system is leaking Freon, one of which is loss of cooling power. Without adequate Freon, the system won’t be able to effectively transfer your home’s warm air outside.
A frozen evaporator coil or condenser coil may also indicate a Freon leak. The lack of Freon prevents these coils from warming, thus causing them to develop ice.
In some cases, you’ll hear a hissing sound when an AC system leaks Freon. If there’s a pinhole leak in the coil through which the refrigerant flows, you’ll usually hear this sound. Larger leaks, on the other hand, produce a more distinguishable gurgling sound.
Why You Shouldn’t Ignore a Freon
If you believe your AC system is leaking Freon, contact the HVAC professionals at Actron Air immediately to schedule an appointment. As refrigerant leaks from your system, it can damage the compressor. Normally, the compressor is cooled by Freon. But when there’s insufficient levels of Freon flowing through it, the compressor can overheat, resulting in damage that’s both difficult and costly to repair.
A Freon leak also poses health issues for you and your family. Like carbon monoxide, it’s an odorless, tasteless toxic gas. When inhaled, it can depress respiratory function, preventing the lungs from getting oxygen.
Finally, failure to fix a Freon leak will increase your home’s cooling expenses. According to the EPA, 48 percent of the average home’s energy usage involves heating and cooling. When your AC system leaks Freon, it’s less efficient at cooling your home, which means higher monthly power bills.
Some homeowners assume that recharging their AC system with additional Freon will fix their leak. While a Freon recharge may provide temporary improvement in your AC system’s performance, this isn’t a permanent solution. Like automotive cooling systems, your home’s AC system is closed, meaning Freon shouldn’t leak from it under normal circumstances. For a leak to occur, there must be a hole or break in the system. And unless you find and fix the leak, any newly recharged Freon will simply leak out again.