It isn’t exaggerating to say that refrigerant is the lifeblood of an air conditioner. The compressor acts as the heart and pumps the refrigerant through the AC’s components, carrying heat from one location and depositing it in another. Without circulating refrigerant, you won’t have a working AC.
Or, we should specify, without the right amount of circulating refrigerant, you won’t have a working AC. Each air conditioner is designed for a set amount of refrigerant—which is known as its charge—and if that charge declines, it will cause serious problems with the AC that require professional attention.
Here are some of the ways that a loss of refrigerant charge will create major trouble for an air conditioner:
- Drop in cooling power: The refrigerant charge in an AC is set at a level to provide the right amount of heat absorption to cool down a house. When this charge drops, the air conditioner will start to struggle to provide the cooling expected from it.
- Ice forming along the evaporator coil: Although at first it seems strange that the loss of something called “refrigerant” would trigger the appearance of ice, this is one of the clearest signs of a refrigerant leak. It happens because the decline of heat absorption along the coil results in refrigerant that is too cold and freezes moisture along its surface. Ice will continue to develop until the air conditioner completely loses its cooling ability.
- Burnt-out compressor: The compressor is designed for a specific refrigerant charge, and if that declines, the compressor will often overheat and burn out. This is an expensive part to replace, and often it is more economical simply to replace the whole air conditioner. This is a reason that you need to move fast and call on professionals as soon as you think your AC is losing refrigerant.
If you suspect that your air conditioner has a refrigerant leak, don’t hesitate: call on Red Rock Mechanical in Burlington, VT. We offer 24-hour emergency air conditioning repair service in Northwest Vermont and the Plattsburgh, NY area.