Your AC unit ensures that your indoor temperature is at the optimal level so that you and your family can be comfortable during the hot months. However, most people do not give their AC a second thought until it stops working. Keep in mind that replacing the unit can be expensive. Luckily, you can extend your air conditioner's lifespan and prevent other issues such as refrigerant leaks if you keep up with timely AC system repair and maintenance.
Long-term exposure to refrigerant leaks can cause headaches, dizziness, respiratory issues, organ damage, and in extreme cases, death. It is best to learn the signs of refrigerant poisoning so that you can take action before the issue gets out of hand.
1. Poor Cooling
If you have been using the AC for a long time, you already know how it works and the duration it takes to cool your home. If you notice it is taking longer than usual to cool your house, there is a high chance the refrigerant is leaking. This happens because the unit relies on the refrigerant to keep your house cool. Therefore, as the refrigerant reduces, the AC loses its cooling power.
2. High Humidity
When the refrigerant is low, it will take your unit longer to manage the humidity level in your home. Note that high humidity can be stifling, especially during the hot season. Therefore, you will feel warmer and more uncomfortable. High humidity can also create a conducive environment for mold and mildew in your home, and might cause severe allergic reactions.
3. Strange Noises
Most people ignore their AC systems when they produce strange noises and dismiss the noise as a part of the cooling cycle, but that is not the case. For instance, hissing sounds are caused as the refrigerant escapes through the holes of your unit. If the crack is large, the refrigerant might produce gurgling sounds.
4. Increased Bill
At times, the leak in the refrigerant might not be so obvious, so it might not capture your attention. But the long cooling cycles caused by the low refrigerant levels could increase your energy costs. As a result, your utility bill will be higher than expected.
It does not matter if it is the poor cooling, high humidity, strange noises, or high utility bill that alerts you about the AC's refrigerant issue. It is important to call an AC repair professional as soon as you notice this problem. Contractors know how to fix the problem without causing further complications and will leave your unit running efficiently.