What To Do About A Refrigerant Leak At Your Facility

A refrigerant leak is serious business that we at MaintenX urge clients to take care of immediately. Not everyone on your staff will realize what the leak is, or why it could be dangerous to their health. That is why preventative maintenance, along with speedy repairs of refrigerant leaks, is our #1 priority for facilities across the country. 

In your air conditioning there is a fluid called refrigerant that removes heat from the environmental air. Refrigerant circulates through your HVAC system, much like oil circulates through your car’s engine. Like your car’s oil, refrigerant doesn’t get “used up,” but is rather recycled to cool your facility every day. However, leaks in the coils can occur over time, allowing refrigerant to seep out of the HVAC system and into your building. 

Refrigerant leaks most commonly occur in older AC units. With extended use, the coils start to break down and eventually develop cracks. Leaks can also occur when the parts are not cleaned properly and contaminated with air pollutants. While this can be prevented with regular maintenance, eventually coils and connections need to be replaced. If your AC is not well maintained, refrigerant will one day leak and cause problems for the entire building.  

Refrigerant leaks are easy to diagnose. The first thing you’ll notice is that your building temperature steadily increases, and won’t cool to the temperature set on the thermostat. Your staff may even diagnose the problem for you with complaints of it getting to hot. If you do notice a decrease in AC efficiency, you may want to call your MaintenX technician for a consult. 

You may think that a refrigerant leak is no big deal. However, at MaintenX we take them very seriously and urge clients to book a consultation as soon as they notice a problem. Here’s what could happen to your air conditioning if you delay a repair of your leaking unit: 

  • HVAC system damage – If your AC is low on refrigerant levels, the system will start to work overtime in order to keep up with the cooling demands. An overworked system will eventually start to break down. Before you know it your compressor will fail, and you’ll have to replace the entire unit.
  • Increased energy use – Because your refrigerant levels are low, your AC will be running nonstop. This will increase your energy usage and therefore your power bill at the end of the month. Studies show that just a 10% decrease in refrigerant levels of an AC unit can increase energy usage by up to 20%. This is a serious expenditure the longer you wait to get it fixed.
  • Health risks to your staff – Refrigerant exposure in small doses is not dangerous, but it has been shown to cause lung damage with prolonged exposure. The fumes are toxic, so if the leak is serious it could pollute the air indoors and make it unsafe to be inside. Refrigerant can also burn the skin, which means your AC can be very dangerous to staff. 

In order to avoid these dangers to your facility and tenants, plan to fix refrigerant problems ASAP. MaintenX is happy to offer fast, reliable, and affordable HVAC repairs to your facility. We are present in 13 states and can guarantee client satisfaction no matter the job. Contact us to learn about preventative maintenance options and affordable HVAC repairs today.