How to know if your air conditioner is leaking refrigerant

Air conditioners are sealed systems, in that they do not use up the refrigerant used to cool your house. The only time the refrigerant would need to be filled up is if there is a leak. If you suspect your air conditioner is leaking refrigerant you should call Flame right away and one of our air conditioning professionals will be able determine the cause of the issue and repair it.

Here are a few of the signs that your air conditioner is leaking refrigerant:

  • Your home is taking a long time to cool down, or isn’t cooling at all
  • Reduced air flow from your AC unit
  • You hear a hissing noise in your house or outside near your condenser unit
  • Ice forming on the evaporator coil
  • Ice on the copper refrigerant lines on the outside of the unit
  • If you have an R-22 system, there may be dark spots at the leak spot because of the oil mixed with R-22 refrigerant

A Flame service technician will be able to determine for certain whether or not you have a refrigerant leak. Unfortunately, having a refrigerant leak can often be the cause for a more extensive investigation to determine the severity of the leak as well as the type of refrigerant that is being used. The reason for this, is that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a phase out of the R-22 refrigerant because of its harmful effect on the environment. The Flame technician will have to determine if your unit is still using this type of refrigerant. Prior to this leak investigation we will inform you of this situation, advise you on your best options for repair, and tell you of any additional costs that could be incurred depending on what option you go with.

Other providers may offer lower prices for a quick fix with a drop-in refrigerant to mimic the R-22. While we may be able to offer this for a short term, it is not an effective, nor a cheap, long-term solution because it will reduce your system’s effectiveness over time and it will have to be replaced more often. Instead, Flame will offer you all of your options up front, along with cost estimates for each, so that you can make an informed decision that is best for you.
If you suspect that your refrigerant is leaking from your air conditioning unit, call Flame Heating and Cooling at 586-582-1700.

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