I can’t think of a single instance where a leak is a good thing. In fact, it’s mostly a bad thing, such as when your car leaks oil or transmission fluid or your roof is leaking. When your home’s appliances leak, this can be a very, very bad thing. Leaking washing machines or water heaters can cause catastrophic damage to your home in a hurry.
What about your home’s air conditioner? Is there anything that can leak from it? You may know the answer already, but when your cooling system gets older or damaged, it can spring a refrigerant leak. Refrigerant is a vital component of your system as it is evaporated, condensed and circulated throughout the system over and over again to provide cool air for your home. As this occurs in a sealed system, the refrigerant should never leak out. If it does, you’ve got a problem that you probably noticed by warmer air coming out of the vents, or ice around the copper refrigeration lines or coils. Refrigerant leaks are commonly caused when holes or cracks develop in the coils over time.
So, what do you do? First, shut off the system as frozen coils could cause your system undue stress and damage the compressor, which may mean an A/C replacement is in your future. Then, call the professional service technicians at Mast Heating & Cooling, which has been servicing HVAC systems in Western Michigan since 1956. We will be able to identify the cause of the leak, repair it and recharge your system. Our technician will also diagnose any other issues with your system and, most importantly, explain to you how regular A/C maintenance can prevent refrigerant leaks or detect them before they get out of hand and cause permanent damage.
If your system is damaged or old and inefficient, it may be time to think of replacing it. If your system uses R-22 refrigerant (and most older systems do), recharging it will get costlier due to an impending deadline to ban R-22, which the EPA has deemed hazardous to the ozone. Beginning Jan. 1, 2020, R-22 will be completely banned. R-22 is still allowed to service existing air conditioning systems, but between now and the deadline, the cost for R-22 will climb higher and higher. Newer systems, which are already more energy efficient, will utilize more environmentally friendly refrigerants such as R-410A.
Your friendly service technician can explain all of this to you when the service call is made, or you can call Mast Heating & Cooling for more details on refrigerant, A/C maintenance plan options and our complete line of new, higher-efficiency, hard-to-stop Trane systems.