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Three Types of HVAC Leaks & Why They're Dangerous

Your HVAC system depends on a lot of different seals in order to work properly. Leaks of all types can not only jeopardize how well your system works, but also its energy efficiency and even the health of your family. There are loads of different places where a leak can form, so on this blog we’ll explain three of the most common types of HVAC system leaks and explain why each of them is dangerous, either to your system or to those around you.

Air Leaks

Air leaks usually form in the networks where air is moved, which can be either in the cooling chamber itself or in your ductwork that transports the conditioned air throughout your home. More often than not, leaks form in your ducts themselves for a variety of reasons. Something could have fallen on one of your ducts, crushing it and causing a huge leak, or an intruding rodent could have decided to nibble on a small corner of ductwork, looking for a warm place to settle during the winter months.

Air leaks aren’t necessarily dangerous to you, your family, or your home, but they’re devastating on your wallet. Air leaks cause conditioned air to escape into your walls or attic where it doesn’t actually cool your home or make you more comfortable. It also means your system needs to run longer in order to reach your target temperature, which means more energy burn and more money out of your pocket. Fortunately, these are fairly easy problems to find, and fixing them isn’t usually too big of a deal either.

Water Leaks

Have you noticed water dripping out of your indoor air conditioning unit? Before you panic and think that your air conditioner is badly broken, there’s some good news. Water dripping out of your air conditioner is actually completely normal, particularly here in Florida where it’s extremely humid. The only part that isn’t normal is the water leaking out and causing your home to get wet. Normally water that your air conditioner produces falls into a metal drain pan, and in that drain pan is a connection to a drain pipe that leads outside your home.

The drain pipe can become clogged for a number of reasons, but is usually the result of dirt and debris accumulation. If you’ve got a clog, a Palm Beach County HVAC professional can come out and take care of the problem quickly. However, if you’re noticing water dripping out of your system, it’s best to shut your system off completely for the time being until you can get the line cleared and draining again.

Refrigerant Leaks

Refrigerant is the fluid that primarily serves as the transportation device which collects heat from inside your home and then disperses it outside. This requires a closed network of refrigerant lines that are durable, strong, and capable of withstanding some pretty immensely high pressure (as refrigerant is placed under high pressure through roughly half of the cycle process). Even the smallest leak can lead to refrigerant loss and all sorts of problems. For starters, refrigerant that’s at too low of a pressure can’t transfer heat, which causes your system to fail to work properly. It can also cause mechanical failure in your heat pump and compressor units.

Finally, refrigerant evaporation can lead to huge issues. Refrigerant is often highly-toxic, and the fumes can cause all sorts of potentially major health problems. If the leaks is inside your home, you could experience elevated levels of carbon monoxide and other harmful gasses. The repairs for these issues can also be expensive, as the damage they can do can be substantial. What’s the best way to avoid one of these leaks? Have your system inspected regularly to make sure pressure levels and refrigerant flow are in good condition.

Call Phoenix Air Conditioning, LLC today at (888) 660-4337 for an in-home service estimate today!