What You Need to Know About Freon or Refrigerant Leaks in Your HVAC System
Your HVAC system needs Freon, or more specifically refrigerant. Freon is a type of refrigerant used for certain air conditioning units. Be advised that air conditioning units are completely sealed closed loop systems and are not supposed to leak. Unfortunately, many systems do start leaking eventually.
Freon is found in your air conditioning systems and transfers heat from the air in your house to the outside. This refrigerant is pumped by the compressor from the condenser – that houses the compressor – to the evaporator coil. Often times, the evaporator coil can be found in the attic, which is one of the reasons develop leaks. Freon is pumped by the compressor in a constant loop. The heat gets pulled out of the air by pushing it across the fins of the evaporator coil.
How to Recognize a Freon Leak?
When an HVAC technician is told by someone that he or she needs Freon, the expert knows exactly that there is a leak. Pay attention to the common signs of a Freon leak to recognize it early. One of the symptoms is warm or less cool air blowing from your vents. If your unit takes longer to reach the set temperature or doesn’t reach it at all, you probably have a leak. A clear sign is ice forming in your coil, traveling down to the compressor and covering it in ice.
Where Does the Leak Come From?
The HVAC technician will check the outside unit for ice and if none is present, check the air temperature coming off the unit. Most of the time the leak can be found at the evaporator coil. This is because a wet and humid environment, such as in the attic, can lead to rust. Even little leaks can cause Freon to escape. You have a big leak when you had your unit filled up with refrigerant just to find out that the vents are blowing hot air again a few days later. If your Freon lasts you a few months, you probably only have a small leak.
Reach out to a HVAC technician the moment you suspect a Freon leak to prevent further damage. Even better, have your unit inspected regularly by a professional.