When your air conditioner starts blowing warm or hot air instead of refreshing, cool air, you immediately know something is wrong. There are a few common reasons why an AC unit may start to fail; one such explanation is an insufficient refrigerant level. How will you know if your refrigerant level is too low? At Tiger Temperature, we are your reliable Thibodaux AC refrigerant experts, helping with refrigerant leak detection and repair.
When the AC isn’t cooling properly, a lot could be to blame. Be sure to work with experienced air conditioning repair contractors that truly get to the bottom of the issue.
How a Refrigerant Leak Affects Your Home
Did you ever stop to wonder how your air conditioner works? The whole cooling system is dependent on a refrigerant, which is a compound that can be compressed into a gas and then condensed into a liquid. Through this process of condensing and compressing, the refrigerant absorbs heat from the interior air, then releases that heat outside your home.
A small leak can dramatically reduce the level of refrigerant in your system. An AC unit that doesn’t have enough refrigerant will not be able to cool the home. Instead, the air blowing out of your air conditioner will be warm and humid...not ideal for a hot Southern summer!
The Refrigerant Leak Detection Process
Air conditioning units do not naturally shed refrigerant throughout the cooling process, so if the level is low, it’s almost always due to a leak. A certified HVAC technician will find the leak using one of a few different methods:
- Electronic detection: Using an electronic device to scan your AC unit, a technician can detect any refrigerant that has leaked out. The device must be able to be in contact to provide a reading, however, so it is not always helpful in hard-to-reach places.
- Dye testing: A colorful dye can be added to the refrigerant, which will then pass through the whole air conditioning system. Your technician will then use ultraviolet light to pinpoint where the refrigerant is leaking.
- Nitrogen detection: Your technician may add nitrogen in the place of refrigerant, which will produce a faint hissing noise wherever there is a leak. In this way, the leak can actually be heard.
- Bubble testing: A mixture of soap may be added to the refrigerant, which will create sudsy bubbles at the source of the leak.
After the leak is found, the necessary repairs can be made (whether sealing the leak or replacing parts) and the refrigerant level topped off. Then your technician will run the air conditioner for several minutes to make sure it’s cooling properly once again.
In many cases, a refrigerant leak is caused by damage to the evaporator coil. We also offer repair and cleaning services to help address this common issue.
Why You Should Seek Professional Help
There is lots of advice available online for how to find a refrigerant leak and how to recharge freon on your own. But it’s not a good idea to mess around with refrigerants, as they are caustic to the skin, toxic when inhaled in gas form, and very harmful to the environment.
In fact, the use and disposal of refrigerants are strictly controlled by the federal government. You must have the training and a license to work with refrigerants. For this reason, it’s best to leave freon replacement and all things related to refrigerant to the professionals.
For diagnosing an AC refrigerant leak, freon recharges, and all other air conditioner maintenance needs, trust the pros at Tiger Temperature. We are licensed and fully insured and have 15 years’ experience in the HVAC industry under our belts. We have the fastest response time in Thibodaux, LA, and offer honest, affordable solutions for every HVAC issue.