A refrigerant leak in your AC can be caused by age, simple wear and tear, and unexpected accidents. It may not be surprising that your AC is leaking after years of use. What you might not realize is that you must be quick to act if you see the signs of a refrigerant leak. A leaking AC refrigerant is a serious health hazard and requires immediate air conditioning repair to protect you and your family in San Antonio, TX.
Is your Texas home suffering from a refrigerant leak? Perhaps you are just curious about the signs and symptoms of a refrigerant leak and want to know what to look out for? In the summer heat, AC repair is a priority. You might be less likely to investigate the AC portion of your HVAC system in the fall and winter months as you aren’t using it. However, unresolved refrigerant problems can pose a danger to your health and that of others in your household, so it’s important that your AC is checked periodically, even if not in use. If any worrying symptoms are noted, call for air conditioning repair! Although it is rare, refrigerant poisoning can occur from inhaling the leaking freon gas. This can cause health-affecting symptoms, such as:
- Ear, eye and throat irritation
More severe symptoms can occur, but are rare and typically only seen if you deliberately inhale the gas. More often, freon exposure leads to the milder symptoms noted above.
Freon in liquid form can cause skin rashes and even frostbite if it gets on your skin. If you suspect a Freon leak, it’s best to call for an air conditioning repair service. Professional HVAC technicians are trained to deal with refrigerant leaks safely.
If you believe you or someone you know has been exposed to Freon in either liquid or gas form, you should vacate the area. Once you have been removed from Freon exposure, the symptoms will start to disappear. There are no long-term effects, so as long as the leak is fixed, you can continue without worry. According to Medical News Today,”It is unlikely that a person will develop poisoning from their leaking home appliance, as long as it is in a well-ventilated area.”
Here are the signs that you may need an air conditioning repair service in San Antonio, TX, to deal with a refrigerant leak:
1. Longer cooling times
You may have a refrigerant problem if your AC is not turning on immediately or cooling in abnormal timeframes. The AC will have difficulty reaching the set temperature if there is a refrigerant leak. It may take longer or it may never reach the desired temperature at all! As a result, your home will not be as cold as you would like. This can be very frustrating if you are returning from a summer vacation. The house will feel warmer when you don’t want it to!
2. Hissing noises
Your air conditioner should make noises like fan churning and other similar sounds. However, hissing sounds can be a sign of an AC refrigerant problem. An air conditioning repair service can be used to identify the source of the leak, replace components, and refill your AC with the recommended level of refrigerant.
AC leaks occur when refrigerant liquid seeps through cracks or holes in the coils. You will hear a hissing sound as a result. You may even hear a bubbling sound if the holes are large enough.
3. It’s warmer than usual
A refrigerant leak in an AC system will cause a slower cooling time, but it will also make the air it circulates less cold. You may notice your home remaining humid. Even if your thermostat is set correctly, you’ll feel the difference. Any temperature issues can be fixed through an air conditioning repair service, whether it’s caused by a refrigerant leak or another issue.
4. Higher energy prices
It’s natural to lower the thermostat when your home is warm. You’ll do it without even realizing it. This is until you get your electricity bill, and then you realize how much more expensive it has gotten to run your AC.
Your AC unit will have difficulty working effectively while there is a leak. Your AC unit will use more energy to try to do its job. This will cause a rise in your energy bills and overwork components unnecessarily.
5. Frozen evaporator coils
If you have AC refrigerant leakage, your coils won’t be able to absorb heat effectively, as the liquid present isn’t enough. Condensation can cause your coils to freeze. Check your AC for ice formation. If you see it, you may have a refrigerant leak that requires an air conditioning repair technician to investigate.
6. Sweet-smelling air
It is a joy to smell something sweet in your home. However, you need to be cautious if it has a chloroform-like aroma. If you are not sure whether the odor you are noticing is caused by an AC refrigerant problem, it is best to call a professional to inspect your home.
Water vs Refrigerant Leak
It is normal to see some water around the unit, as there will often be small drops of condensed water. This liquid usually drops into the drain pan and then is safely released to the outside. A professional HVAC technician should be able to determine if the liquid you are seeing is harmless condensed water or linked to a more serious Freon leak that necessitates air conditioning repair.
Water leakage is characterized by a moldy odor, water damage and standing water. Refrigerant leaks are more serious and will not show the same symptoms. Refrigerant liquid will leak and usually evaporates into a toxic gas, which is why it can be harder to identify and resolve a Freon leak without the help of a professional air conditioning repair technician.
If you suspect a refrigerant leak in your San Antonio, TX, home, bluefrog Plumbing + Drain + HVAC of San Antonio is here to help. Book an appointment immediately if you suspect a refrigerant loss!