How to Prevent AC Refrigerant Leaks
Are you worried about a potential AC freon leak? If your air conditioning unit has stopped working properly or no longer cools when you turn it on, then there may be something wrong with your freon.
MYTH: AC Freon must be charged every spring.
It’s a common misconception that freon is slowly depleted through air conditioning use. Instead, a freon leak is most often caused by small puncture holes that allow the gas-liquid to escape.
Other causes can include:
- poor installation,
- factory defects in your unit, or
- formic acid or formaldehyde corrosion of the metal
How can you spot air conditioning freon leaks?
When you are dealing with a freon leak, understand that things can get a lot worse as time goes by. Just like an inflatable bed or kiddie pool, the hole often starts as a pinhole leak and becomes an even bigger problem if not stopped.
An expert air conditioning repair technician calls these “champagne leaks”, because the hole can be detected by observing tiny bubbles in the evaporator coils. This location is where freon leaks are most often spotted.
What are the health and environmental effects of freon?
Freon is certainly a health hazard. Freon is a lethal toxic substance, and for this reason, freon leaks should be handled by an expert air conditioning repair technician. Inhaling freon is highly poisonous and could result in death. In addition, freon leaks deplete the ozone layer and are unsafe for the environment.
The biggest concern with freon leaks is assuring that no freon enters the airflow inside the interior of your home.
If you start to experience a foul-smelling odor escaping your HVAC system during operation, then you could have a freon leak.
What are some common causes and solutions for AC freon leaks?
Although freon leaks are not as common as you may think, this does not mean that they fail to show up frequently. A brand new air conditioning unit has the potential to leak freon if not installed properly. In the beginning, a good air conditioning repair technician rules out freon leaks by testing the system’s soldering, often using nitrogen (low molecular weight).
The second most common thing that can lead to freon leaks is damage. Any sort of damage to your air conditioning unit can cause separate components to fail. It’s a good idea to tell the lawn guys to be careful with the weedwacker around your AC.
The most common cause of AC freon leaks is likely erosion of the metal over time due to formic acid or formaldehyde corrosion. Small holes are formed when the acid eats away at the metal and the unit eventually releases freon. This can be repaired by replacing the separate components such as the coils or installing an entire new air conditioning unit depending on the severity of damage.
Finally, the last major cause of freon leaks are factory defects. There’s no way for you to know your brand new air conditioning unit was sadly, defective when it comes to holding freon, unless you consult an expert air conditioning repair technician. Not to mention, most air conditioning manufacturing companies void the warranty if repairs are made by someone other than a trained technician, so get in touch with an air conditioning repair company if you suspect your brand new AC is leaking freon. It’s not uncommon to find freon leaks 5 to 10 years after the initial air conditioning installation!
Does Your AC Leak Freon? Get Professional Help.
If your AC leaks freon, it's time to call the professionals. Why? Because freon leaks can be dangerously toxic for families and the environment. Get in touch with an expert air conditioning repair technician at Easy AC for Comfort Made Easy. We offer emergency 24/7 AC repair in the Tampa Bay area.