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The Dangers of Freon Leaks in an Air Conditioner

The word Freon refers to a wide range of chemical refrigerants used in air conditioners (as well as other refrigeration equipment) to transfer heat. Freon is actually a trademarked name of DuPont, but it has come to stand for all different refrigerant blends in use today.

The Freon in your air conditioning system is vital for it to work: as it evaporates and condenses, switching between liquid and gaseous states, it absorbs heat from the inside of your house and the exhausts it to the outside. You AC doesn’t use up Freon as it runs; the level of Freon, which is known as the air conditioner’s charge, will remain the same through the life of the system…

…unless there are leaks.

What happens when Freon leaks?

Your air conditioner is designed to run on a set Freon charge. If that charge drops, it will not only impair the system’s ability to provide cooling, it will also inflict damage on the components, particularly the compressor, which can lead to a permanent breakdown of the air conditioning system.

One of the first problems that a loss of Freon will cause is icing along the evaporator coil. Because a lower amount of Freon limits how much heat the coil can absorb, the remaining refrigerant will be too cold. Moisture on the coil will start to freeze, leading to even further limits on heat absorption.

But the larger problems will begin to occur inside the compressor. The compressor is constructed to handle a specific pressure level, and a loss of Freon will change that. It will also put the compressor at risk of overheating and burning out. When the compressor burns out in an AC, it’s usually more cost-effective to replace the entire air conditioning system.

The moment you notice a drop in cooling form your AC, hear hissing sounds from it, or see ice along the evaporator coil, call for professional repairs right away. It requires skilled technicians to seal refrigerant line leaks and then recharge the Freon to its proper level.

Call the Doctor of Home Comfort—Hall’s Heating, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration—when you need air conditioning repair services in Haughton, LA.

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