What You Should Know About Your AC Refrigerant Leak

A properly working system should never leak refrigerant. Hire a pro to assess your HVAC system for leaks.

Some AC repair companies do offer a refrigerant leak sealant, however, many do not. Sealants can sometimes be effective in addressing small leaks but they are considered a short-term fix rather than a long-term solution. Many air conditioning companies won’t use these sealants, because they can create blocked passages and openings within the system, which actually does more harm than good.

With that said, it is vital to figure out exactly why your air conditioning system is losing refrigerant. If your system is losing refrigerant, there's a mechanical problem that you need to address. Refrigerant that leaks into the atmosphere is an environmental hazard and, as the owner, you are responsible for ensuring your AC unit is not leaking. A common cause of leaking refrigerant is due to a leak in the evaporator coil or outdoor condenser coil. This can only be fixed by replacing the part. For a 15-year-old system, that’s probably not an investment worth making. The unit is likely less efficient than a newer unit; and the R-22 refrigerant you’ll need to replace is increasing in cost as it is being phased out of production.

Newer AC unit models can be up to 30 percent more efficient compared to an older unit depending on the SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) rating of the new unit compared to the existing unit.

SEER ratings have increased quite a bit over the past 15 years. While a 13 SEER was once considered efficient, it is now the minimum rating allowed on newly manufactured units. Now, the SEER rating on the most energy efficient units can reach into the mid-20s. The higher the SEER rating, the less electricity the system requires, thus making it more efficient. Upgrading from a 10 SEER to a 13 SEER unit would equate to a 30-percent increase in efficiency.

If you suspect that your AC unit is leaking refrigerant, have a qualified heating and cooling company come out to assess your air conditioner to determine where it’s leaking and if it’s worth repairing or replacing. Call AC Express and a certified technician will promptly diagnose your residential air conditioning system for FREE!