Best Ways to Find an HVAC Leak

Best Ways to Find an HVAC Leak

The refrigerant level in your HVAC system shouldn’t drop under normal conditions. This is because refrigerant isn’t used up or consumed – it simply moves through a sealed loop of copper tubing, absorbing heat as it goes through the evaporator coil, and releasing it outdoors via the condenser coil. If the refrigerant is escaping through an HVAC leak, a range of problems will develop, including:

Higher Utility Bills

As refrigerant leaks out, the HVAC system will have to cycle longer and burn more energy to reach your chosen temperature setting on the thermostat.

Decrease in Cooling Capabilities

A drop in the refrigerant level causes a corresponding decrease in your HVAC’s cooling capabilities. This means your home will stay feeling uncomfortably hot and humid, even after you lower the thermostat setting.

Warmer Air at the Registers

If you test the temperature of the airflow coming from your home’s A/C vents, you’ll find it doesn’t feel as cool as usual.

Odd Noises From the Coils

An HVAC leak in either the evaporator or condenser coil often causes a distinctive gurgling or hissing noise. Not hearing these sounds doesn’t mean the refrigerant level is fine, because leaks can also occur in the lines running between the two coils.

Frozen Cooling Coil

When refrigerant is lost through a leak, the evaporator won’t absorb heat as it should. Then, liquid condensation will freeze, and ice will build up on the coil.

If you’re seeing these signs, it’s important to have the refrigerant level checked and leaks found to prevent damage to your HVAC components. An experienced technician may use these methods to find leaks:

  • Apply soapy water on suspected leaks to see where bubbles form.
  • Put fluorescent dye in the refrigerant lines, then identify leak sources with an ultraviolet (UV) light.
  • Employ an electronic detector that uses infrared light, ultrasonic sound, corona discharge, or heated diode/electrolyte technology.

After the HVAC leak is found, a technician can complete needed repairs, then recharge the system to the proper refrigerant level.

Contact us today at Powers Heating & Air for expert help finding an HVAC leak in your Peachtree City home.

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