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Why You Shouldn't Put off Your Annual AC Inspection


Causes Of Refrigerant Line Damage

Damage to refrigerant lines can lead to refrigerant leakage, which leads to reduced cooling efficiency. You can only preempt refrigerant line damage if you know why it occurs. Below are common reasons for these damages.

Corrosion

Refrigerant lines are typically made of metal (copper) that is susceptible to corrosion. Refrigerant line corrosion occurs in several ways. For example, many household products contain acid that can damage the lines if used near the AC unit. Examples include adhesive, cleaning products, and paint. Acid exposure is also common with ACs in coastal areas because of the salty ocean water. Even unusually high humidity increases corrosion risk. Lastly, urine is also acidic, so your pet can corrode your AC if it pees on it.

Mechanical Impact, Movement, or Perforation

A strong mechanical impact can damage the lines enough to cause refrigerant leakage. For example, a refrigerant line might suffer mechanical damage if something heavy falls on it, the compressor/condenser pad settles and affects refrigerant piping without sufficient flexibility, or someone accidentally perforates the lines during construction. In short, anything that affects the lines' structural integrity can damage them enough to cause leaks.

Vibrations

Different parts of the AC vibrate because of its moving parts. The AC motors, fans, and belts all have moving parts that transmit their vibrations to different parts of the system. A vibration isolator usually absorbs the movements to limit the damage. However, excess vibrations might reach the refrigerant lines as the system ages and the isolators suffer damage. A rigid refrigerant tube or missing clamps can magnify the vibrations' effect on the refrigerant lines and damage them.

Poor Installation

The AC installation policy affects its refrigerant lines' integrity. For example, the risk of lien damage is high if the installer doesn't leave enough slack during line installation, fails to support the lines adequately, or thins the lines at the joints. Improper installation risk is high if an amateur or inexperienced person handles the installation.

Wear and Tear

Lastly, the materials that comprise the AC system, including the refrigerant line materials, will wear over the years. The AC usage, type, local weather, and climate determine the wear-and-tear rate. Over time, the joints weaken, and the seals deteriorate, increasing the risk of a refrigerant leak.

Reduced cooling, bubbling or hissing sounds, increased energy consumption, and ice on refrigerant are typical signs of refrigerant leakage. Contact an AC repair service for diagnosis and repair if you notice such signs. 

About Me

Why You Shouldn't Put off Your Annual AC Inspection

I almost always have my air conditioner inspected every spring before I start using it in the summer. However, last year I decided to skip the inspection. Everything had been OK for the last couple of years, so I assumed that it would be fine this year as well. Why not save a few dollars and skip the annual check up, just this once? Of course, this was the year that my air conditioner decided to break down. It ran for a few days, but it never really seemed to get cool enough to bring the indoor temperature down. Then it started making a loud noise, right before shutting off completely. By that time, the AC repair company was swamped like it always is when the weather is warm, and I had to wait days for an appointment. Next year, I will definitely be getting that yearly inspection first.

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