Best Methods for HVAC Leak Detection

Best Methods for HVAC Leak Detection

When your HVAC system is in good working condition, it shouldn’t need additional refrigerant. That’s because refrigerant doesn’t get “used up” — it stays inside a sealed loop, absorbing heat via the evaporator coil indoors, then releasing it through the outdoor condenser coil. Only an HVAC leak can cause a drop in the refrigerant level, and oftentimes you can detect it by identifying these telltale signs:

Rising Energy Bills

When the system is low on refrigerant, it cycles longer and uses more energy to try and satisfy the temperature you’ve set on the thermostat.

Loss of Cooling Capabilities

A loss of refrigerant causes a corresponding decrease in your air conditioning system’s cooling capabilities. You may notice that your home stays uncomfortably warm and humid, even though you dial back the thermostat’s temperature setting.

Warmer Air at the Registers

If you check on the air flowing from the registers, you’ll find that it no longer feels as cool as it used to.

Hissing Noise From the Outdoor Unit

If you hear a hissing or gurgling noise at either the evaporator or condenser coil, there’s a good chance it’s caused by a refrigerant leak. Not hearing these sounds doesn’t mean the refrigerant level isn’t low, though, because leaks can occur in the refrigerant lines too.

Iced up Evaporator Coil

When the refrigerant level has dropped due to a leak, the evaporator coil won’t draw heat from the air efficiently. When this happens, condensation can begin to freeze and collect on the coil.

If you suspect you have a refrigerant leak, it’s vital to have a certified HVAC technician locate the source, then repair the leak and recharge the system. A trained technician knows the best leak detection methods, like:

  • Applying soap to potential leak sources and watching for bubbles.
  • Putting fluorescent dye into the refrigerant line, then using ultraviolet (UV) light to identify leaks.
  • Using an electronic device with advanced technology like corona discharge, heated diode or electrolyte, ultrasonic sound or infrared light.

Contact us at Aggressive Mechanical Contractors for expert help detecting and repairing an HVAC leak in your Monmouth County home.

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