Leak in Your Air Conditioner? Call the Chicago AC Repair Experts
If an air conditioner is not cooling enough, it could be a leak in your air conditioner. It is one of the most common problems with central air conditioners. Leaking refrigerant causes a system to use more energy and eventually stop cooling. To fix the issue is expensive. To refill the unit is expensive. Homeowners must decide the best solution for their budget. In the end, the choice may be to replace.
You Might Have A Leak in Your Air Conditioner If…
Refrigerant is the fluid that runs through the copper tubing in your ac system. This fluid absorbs heat from inside the home and transfers it to the outside condenser. The condenser removes the heat with a fan and the cycle starts again. When a central air conditioning system has a leak, the home will not cool down. Signs of a leak include warm air from registers, hissing sounds from unit, and frost on coils. If one or more of these problems is present, a leak is likely the cause.
Should You Repair A Leak in Your Air Conditioner?
The answer is maybe. If the system is under 10 years old, it should be repaired. If it is older, replacement might be the best option. Many manufacturer’s warranties cover parts for at least 10 years. Keep in mind that labor may be charged for the repair and could be a significant cost. Repairing a leak involves performing a “leak test” using dyes and UV lights or Nitrogen. These tests can vary in price from $300 to $500 depending on the system.
Should You Refill the Refrigerant?
To be honest, this is always a bad idea. As a HVAC contractor in Chicago, we perform a lot of refills. This is mostly because it is the most affordable option. That being said, it is not a repair. A system that has been refilled may last one season. Homeowners can expect to refill again and again. The prices of refilling refrigerant range from $273 – $900 depending on the amount needed. Also, if a leak is repaired, the cost of refrigerant must be taken into effect.
Should You Replace the Air Conditioner?
If a technician has found a leak in a system that is 10 years or older, replacement is the best option. While it is the most costly, it has the benefits of being more efficient. In the end, it comes down to a homeowner’s budget. Repairing and replacing are the only real solutions. Refilling an air conditioner is a temporary fix and could make the problem worse.