The 5 Unmistakable Signs of a Refrigerant Leak

September 20th, 2017
The 5 Unmistakable Signs of a Refrigerant Leak

Frozen AC coils could be a sign of a refrigerant leak.

At long last, summer’s almost over. On Friday, the fall equinox will happen. Even so, we’ve seen summer-like temperatures linger. When it is still eighty or ninety degrees outside, how do we find relief? We take refuge inside in the cool air provided by our building’s air conditioning unit, otherwise known as a commercial HVAC system. But sometimes, these crucial systems might not work as they should. Here is how to know if you have a refrigerant leak causing problems in your office building.

Reduced Cooling Ability

The first indication of a refrigerant leak is a reducing cooling ability. The refrigerant is an essential element of how your HVAC system keeps the building cool. After all, the coolant is meant to capture the heat inside the building and send it outside. Refrigerant leaks may be hard to notice until something like this happens. If your systems lack the proper amount of refrigerant, they will take much longer than necessary to cool down your business. As a result, adjusting the thermostat might be your next logical course of action – except that this measure may not be as helpful as you might think.

Vents Blow Warm Air

One easy way to identify a refrigerant leak is to check your vents. If the air is warmer than you expect, it could be another possible sign that a leak is present.

Strange Hissing Noises

Have you heard strange hissing noises emanating from the indoor components of your commercial HVAC system? The hissing could indicate a refrigerant leak, but it could also point to much more significant issues with your system. If you hear a gurgling sound, that means that there is a larger leak. How do these leaks form in the first place? These leaks form when the coils of your system begin to crack, or are damaged in such a way that holes open up on the same coils.

The Coils Freeze

Frozen coils could also be another symptom of leaking refrigerant. When there isn’t enough refrigerant in the evaporator coils, the coils won’t take in enough heat. Since the coils aren’t absorbing heat, naturally, they will freeze. When left without the proper preventative maintenance, the frozen coils will lead to system problems such as the compressors overloading and failing.

Higher Energy Bills

Lastly, keep an eye on your building’s energy bills. After all, leaking refrigerant could contribute to your building becoming uncomfortable. Constantly adjusting the thermostat, either up or down, will consume more electricity. Compare your energy usage to the same period last year (for example, this September and September 2016). If you see that the levels aren’t the same, it could be yet another sign you have a refrigerant leak.

Crockett Facilities Can Help!

Crockett Facilities Services, Inc. (CFSI) is committed to helping building owners, property managers, engineers,  and facility professionals lower their operating expenses through HVAC preventive maintenance. We can develop a cost-effective, customized preventive maintenance plan for your commercial building that will provide you with peace of mind, improved comfort, and energy savings.

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To learn more about the importance of HVAC Preventive Maintenance, please contact us at 202.600.2787 or Our PM contract customers receive priority service with 24/7 emergency service in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, DC.

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