Serving Albuquerque, NM and Surrounding Areas

First Rate Plumbing Heating and Cooling Inc Blog

Signs of a Refrigerant Leak and What to Do

Jun 26, 2023

Your AC is chugging along, and something doesn’t feel right. It doesn’t cool the room like it used to. You know that air’s coming out of the vents just fine, but does it feel a little warm to you?

Spoiler alert: you probably need air conditioning repair Albuquerque, NM if it’s gotten to the point that you have to search for it. Fortunately, we can point you in the right direction to figure out the next steps.


Your AC Keeps Freezing

Refrigerant is what makes it cold, but when refrigerant gets low, it actually makes the AC freeze up. It sounds silly, but hear us out: refrigerant changes state while it’s in the line.

In short, refrigerant changes states, and in one of those states, it superheats as it pulls in warm air, then changes states again as it cools. The amount of available space in the entire refrigerant line is calculated to account for expansion.

When there’s too much room, which would happen from a refrigerant leak, refrigerant expands too much and freezes. It can’t be properly pressurized and change states again. This causes your coils to freeze up, and then the rest of your air conditioner tries to run anyway, and breakdowns happen.

It Isn’t Cooling as Much Anymore

Let’s say there’s enough refrigerant in the line that the coils don’t freeze, but not enough for your air conditioner to function properly. When this happens, it’s likely due to a minor leak that’s steadily getting worse over time.

The air coming out of your vents isn’t warm, but it’s not as cool as you know it’s supposed to be. This can also result in power cycles lasting for longer, which is a more immediate indicator that something’s amiss.

A Sudden Energy Bill Spike

When refrigerant leaks, your AC has to work harder just to meet the temperature requirements you set on your thermostat. Since a standard power cycle is around 15-20 minutes for a properly functioning air conditioner, you may notice longer power cycles.

Every minute that your air conditioner runs past when it’s supposed to, you’re paying extra for no reason. There’s a certain amount of power consumption we can’t control, but if cycles last for 25–30 minutes, that’s 25% to 50% more energy spent than you’re expecting. Since the air conditioner is one of the biggest power hogs in your home, you’ll notice it pretty quickly when your utility bill rolls around at the first of next month.

If Anything Rings a Bell, it’s Time to Call

Did any of these possible repair problems ring a bell for you? If they did, it’s time for you to contact us and get a repair appointment in place. Your air conditioner can’t keep running the way it is, especially if there’s a refrigerant leak (it only leads to bigger problems). We’re here and ready to answer you as quickly as we can.

Contact us today to schedule your air conditioner repair as soon as possible.

Categories: Air Conditioning