How to Prevent AC Refrigerant Leaks in Your Home

If you're concerned about the effect of your HVAC system on the environment, you're not alone. Learn more about how regular maintenance helps here.

About Me
Green Comfort: How HVAC Contractors Help With Energy Efficiency

Good day. My name is Darryl and I work as a government researcher for the energy sector. I prepare reports which suggest ways that energy can be conserved and made cheaper. One area that is particularly under the spotlight is the effect of heating, ventilation and cooling systems on the environment. Whilst preparing my latest research report, I have been amazed by the energy efficiency that can be gained by installing the right HVAC systems. I even contacted professional HVAC contractors to upgrade, maintain and repair the systems in my own home because I learnt that older systems can use more energy without regular checks. I'm sure that there are others like me who aren't aware of the importance of choosing the right HVAC system. I hope to share a little of what I have learnt in my blog and help spread awareness. Thank you for your time.


How to Prevent AC Refrigerant Leaks in Your Home

22 December 2015
, Blog

One of the common causes of AC inefficiency in the home is a leak of the refrigerant in the system. This article discusses some steps that you can take to ensure that you keep refrigerant leaks at bay in your home.

Improve the Ventilation of Your Home

Refrigerant leaks usually begin when the copper tubes in the evaporator coil develop holes. Such leaks begin after the copper reacts with volatile organic compounds released into the air in your home. The VOCs can come from the cleaning products that you use. Those VOCs react with the condensate on the pipes and create formic acid. That acid drills holes in the pipes through which the refrigerant leaks from the system. One way to prevent such leaks from developing is to improve the overall ventilation of your home. For instance, you can install more roof vents to expel the stale air that rises into the attic. Fresh air will get in and dilute the volume of VOCs so that less formic acid is formed.

Install an Air Purifier

It may not be possible for you to increase the ventilation of your home because you would like to limit heat gain or heat loss from the house. In that case, it might be helpful to install an air purifier to degrade the VOCs that are in the indoor air of your home. This purifier can be installed within the HVAC system so that all the air that circulates in your home passes through it. In this way, less formic acid will form and the copper tubes will not corrode.

Service the AC System Frequently

Each air conditioning manufacturer stipulates how frequently certified technicians should service the system. Follow that service routine so that you can keep refrigerant leaks at bay. The service technician will use special formulations to clean the coils of the evaporator unit. This will remove any accumulations of formic acid that would have drilled tiny holes within those pipes. Another added advantage of that frequent cleaning is that the coils will work more efficiently. This will give them longer periods of rest so there will be less pressure exerted on them. Less pressure can mean a lower likelihood for leaks to develop since metal fatigue will be slowed down.

Consult a refrigeration servicing technician if you suspect that your air conditioning system has a refrigerant leak. That professional will inspect the entire system and provide a long-term solution to the problem.