Air conditioning maintenance is important if you want your AC to keep running all summer without experiencing a breakdown. Plus, maintenance helps your AC operate more efficiently, which is necessary to keep your power bills as low as possible. One part of your AC an air conditioning maintenance technician checks during an annual tune-up is the refrigerant line. Here's some information about the refrigerant line and why maintaining it is so important.
Where The Refrigerant Line Is Located
The refrigerant line in your air conditioner is made of copper. It's a continuous loop that circulates refrigerant between the air handler indoors and the condenser outdoors. When the line enters the air handler, it forms a big coil called the evaporator coil. This coil is responsible for pulling heat from your home.
The line then straightens out and goes to the condenser where it forms another coil called the condenser coil. This is where heat is released and the refrigerant cools down again. During the circulation process, refrigerant changes from a liquid to a gas and back to a liquid.
What Can Go Wrong With The Refrigerant Line
Copper has a tendency to form pinhole leaks. These leaks are tiny, so refrigerant leaks out slowly over time. During this time, the performance of your AC deteriorates and the operating expense of your equipment escalates. Pinholes can form due to exposure to chemicals from outgassing in your house or due to other damage.
Also, connections can come loose, or the line can crack. Any damage that allows refrigerant to leak out has to be repaired, or the refrigerant line has to be replaced, because all the refrigerant will leak out otherwise. Another problem that can happen with the line is that it can get coated in dust and be unable to do its job of picking up and releasing heat. That means your house will get warmer even though your AC might be running longer.
How A Refrigerant Line Is Maintained
When you have annual air conditioning maintenance services, the technician uses a device to measure the amount of refrigerant in your system. It should be the same from year to year, so if it's low, the technician knows there's a problem.
Besides that, the technician may need to clean the line and coils to get rid of dust and grime. If the coils are dirty, they can't function very well and ice may start to form and spread. Using coil cleaner and a brush gets rid of dust buildup so the coils are clean and ready for another season of cooling your home.
Contact an air conditioning maintenance service near you to learn more.