Low refrigerant ranks among the most common causes of air conditioning repair. Many people believe that air conditioners consume the refrigerant they use, but in fact, they don’t. Moreover, refrigerant needs to stay at set levels in your system: cycling and recycling through a theoretically closed loop that shifts it from a gas to a liquid state and back, and cools the air in the process.
The word “theoretically” is important here, however, because while refrigerant shouldn’t leak out of the system, sometimes it does. Leaks and fissures can develop when seals wear out or the system suffers damage. Here in Riverside, CA, that can be devastating, especially in the summer when temperatures routinely top 100 degrees. What kinds of problems does low refrigerant cause? The kind that cost you money.
Frost and Increased Strain
The cycle that cools the air depends on both a specific type of refrigerant and a specific amount (the exact type and amount depends on the kind of air conditioner you own). When those levels drop, it throws off the entire process. You can see it most clearly in the evaporator coils, where the refrigerant is supposed to shift from liquid to gaseous form and cool the air around the coils in the process. But when the process is interrupted, frost forms on the coils, forming an insulating barrier between the refrigerant and the air as well as representing lost cooling potential that should be going into your home.
As a result, the system has to work harder to cool the air in your home, which creates higher monthly energy bills and an increased pinch on your wallet. Furthermore, the added strain means that the rest of your system is more likely to need major repairs in the future and the overall life of your air conditioner may be shortened considerably.
The good news is that the experts at Avis Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning can seal the leak and recharge the refrigerant. If you think your levels are low, then give us a call today!