Skip navigation

Serving The Chicagoland Area Since 1998


ServiceMax Blog

How Air Conditioning Refrigerant Leaks Start

Among the many different problems that can occur in an air conditioning system, one of the most common (and serious) is a leak along the refrigerant lines that allows the liquid/gaseous refrigerant to escape. Refrigerant, sometimes known as “Freon,” is essential for an AC to work, and if the level should ever drop, the system will not only start to work poorly, it could suffer from a catastrophic breakdown. When refrigerant leaks happen, you need to call on professionals who will 1) locate the leaks, 2) seal them, and 3) recharge the refrigerant to its proper level.

What did I do wrong that caused these leaks?

Don’t worry: you almost certainly aren’t at fault for refrigerant leaks. The unfortunate part of this problem is that it is difficult to prevent and almost impossible, even for professionals, to notice before it starts. You must simply be vigilant about your AC’s performance and call on repair technicians immediately. Regular maintenance will also catch any leaks when they are still small.

Now, as to what causes the leaks in the first place: formaldehyde. You are probably unaware of it, but this chemical is a common pollutant in residential air, and even with excellent air purifiers it is hard to remove it entirely. Formaldehyde causes something known as formicary corrosion along copper lines, such as those in an AC, as it leaves formic acid along the surface. Although copper is resistant to most forms of corrosion, formicary corrosion is an exception. It’s almost impossible to notice along copper surfaces until it weakens the metal to the point the leaks occur.

Any AC over four years old is susceptible to this kind of corrosion, and high-efficiency air conditioners are more likely to suffer from it  because they have narrower refrigerant coils to help with heat exchange. Make sure that you have quality air conditioning technicians to help you in Winnetka, IL in case your air conditioner encounters refrigerant leaks.

Malek Heating & Cooling offers 24-hour emergency air conditioning repairs in the Chicagoland area.

Comments are closed.