Central air conditioning systems require maintenance and services to remain in good condition, and this includes the completion of services like a leak detection test. This is something that you can set up with your AC services provider. If you want to know when you should ask the professional about this, then keep reading.
When Your System Is Not Cooling Well
If you find that your AC system is suddenly not working well after a long winter, then there is a chance that you are experiencing a coolant leak issue. Over time, rubber hoses start to degrade and seals break down. This allows coolant to leak out. And, while this does happen typically when the unit is running, it can also occur while the outdoor unit sits during the winter months.
There are quite a few signs of a leak that you may notice. A unit that runs all the time but does not produce cool air as it used to is the most common sign. You may also notice a hissing sound from the outdoor unit, even when it is turned off. Coils are prone to freezing too, when there is not enough coolant running through them, as the lack of coolant prevents the AC unit from pulling heat from the air. Instead, it freezes the water droplets that collect on the coils.
You are likely to see electricity bills that are similar to the ones you get during the height of the summer. Specifically, if your house is only being cooled by a degree or two, then your electricity bill should not be an extra $200. If you are unsure about the costs, then speak with your electric company about your total electricity usage. They can look at electrical usage trends from previous months and years to help you understand if something looks abnormal.
When You Have A High-Pressure System
Most of the newer AC units are high-pressure ones that use R410A, Puron, or another type of ozone safe coolant. These coolants are far more efficient at cooling the home, but since they need to be placed under much more pressure than the old R-22 compounds, they are more likely to leak. This is simply due to the pressure placed on the hoses. So, if you have a unit that has been installed since 2010, then you want to have it checked by an AC professional for leaks every spring. This way, smaller leaks can be identified before they force out most of the coolant from the AC system.
Leak detection may simply involve pressure assessments over the course of a few weeks to determine if the system is maintaining good coolant pressure. Speak with your AC professional about this.
To learn more about coolant leak detection, reach out to air conditioning services near you.