Reasons Why Your AC System Loses Coolant

Ten years ago, an air conditioning leak was little more than an inconvenience. It was easy to purchase a can of coolant to top off the system – an inexpensive solution that allowed you to delay a repair until a convenient time.

Things aren’t as simple today. The popular refrigerant, R-22, began phasing out in 2010, meaning that no new units that relied on the coolant were being produced. The refrigerant is becoming harder to find as companies transition into the more efficient and environmentally friendly R-410A.

This means that the average “top-off” of 2.5 pounds of refrigerant could cost as much as $450.

Diagnosing Your System for Coolant Leaks

It’s important to figure out why your machine is leaking and put a stop to it, rather than adding more refrigerant and hoping for the best. The most common reasons for coolant leakage in your home AC system are:

    • Poor installation. If your unit is new, you may be the victim of a shoddy insulation job. Many homeowners look for the best price rather than hiring the highest quality installer. The joints of the system must be brazed to seal them shut, and even the smallest mistake could leave a tiny hole. Over time, this small leak can lead to big losses.
    • Defects from the manufacturer. Unfortunately, the pursuit of efficiency can lead to some production oversights. Companies are using thinner coils than ever before because energy can transfer easily through the thinner material. But this makes more room for erosion, breaks, and kinks in the lines. There’s also a chance that you could be unlucky enough to find incomplete welds or damage from the shipping process.
    • The presence of formic acid. This acid occurs naturally in the ground and can damage copper. It causes microscopic cracks as it etches into the surface. Formic acid issues can be a bit more difficult to diagnose and repair. Over time, the leaks caused by formic acid will worsen until the coils, or the entire system, needs to be replaced. Interestingly, formaldehyde in our homes (a very common pollutant) also can create formic acid within the AC system’s lines.
    • Accidental damage. This kind of damage can happen inside or outside your home. Things as simple as nailing a picture on a wall can puncture a line. A similar but more common issue is rocks thrown from mowing grass. There is potential for damage anytime someone, or something, comes in contact with the unit’s coils or other components.

If you suspect that your system is suffering from a leak, call a professional for an inspection. Many contractors will have electronic leak detectors to help them pinpoint the leak, so less time is wasted looking for it. If your unit is new, repairs may be covered by the manufacturer’s warranty.

If your system is several years old, it may be time to consider replacing it. Newer models are designed with better efficiency and flexibility. If you think you might need to buy a new AC unit, contact the HVAC experts at Anderson Air Corps. We can help you find a new unit that’s right for your home comfort needs and provide expert installation services. Contact us now for more information about our line of Carrier brand cooling systems, and ask about our financing options.

Why is Air Conditioner Capacity Measured in Tons?

Our team at Anderson Air Corps Heating & Cooling handles a variety of HVAC Service options including repair service, maintenance and installations. From air conditioner systems to heating units, we can handle it all. Each of our technicians are commonly asked questions on a variety of subjects, especially air conditioning. Home owners have a common interest in how the air conditioner units work, one of which is why an AC system has a capacity that is measured in tons. This is an interesting questions that dates back to the early history of the unit type.

Terminology used to describe AC technology is based on the origination of the unit type. The term ‘ton’ was originally the form of measurement based on pounds of winter ice that were harvested from lakes and rivers. The term was then transferred to the measure of heat that is extracted from the indoor space to create a cool home.

Before air conditioning, home owners would use ice that was harvested from bodies of water to create a cool home as well as for refrigeration purposes. Ice was a natural resource and could be used to extract heat from the air. Connecting the ice harvesting to modern air conditioning can be done. The measurement is based on the amount of energy that is required to melt one ton of ice in a twenty four hour time frame. This is 286,000 British thermal units or a rate of 12,000 BTUs each hour.

The BTU calculation is still used today to determine the rate needed for cooling the home. An air conditioner with a measurement of 1 ton will have a heat extraction rate of 12,000 BTUs each hour. A unit that has a measurement of 3 tons would take away 36,000 BTUs each hour.

By understanding the BTU calculations, our team can provide you with the correct HVAC air conditioning system in your home. The unit chosen will provide you with an excellent source of cooling that will be energy efficient for your home. You will use less energy and be better able to afford the cooling comfort in the home.

Manual J Calculations

In today’s industry, we use the Manual J Calculations to configure the unit load and sizing for your home. This method is recommended by state and federal government agencies which includes the United States Department of Energy. The calculation method will measure the amount of cooling needed in the home. Software programs have been created to easily input data to come up with the unit type needed for the home. Several factors play a role in cooling calculations including:

  • Average temperature and humidity locally
  • Orientation between the sun and home
  • Size of windows and how many are in the home
  • Air leakage rate
  • Insulation amount and quality
  • Occupants in the home as well as energy usage and scheduling
  • Coexistent systems

Each variable is then used to determine how much cooling is needed in the home on a room by room basis. The basis of cooling does not rely solely on the total square footage inside your home. The way to configure cooling loads in the home is quite interesting and helps you understand just home the comfort is tallied for each area of your home.

This is just one way our company can help you be comfortable during the summer season. Allow us to evaluate your home for proper cooling measurements or to provide you with repair and maintenance service when you need it most. Our team is ready to service you home cooling units at a moment’s notice. Contact us today to learn more about the many services we can provide your home!

What Is Refrigerated Air?

Carrier ProductsThe kids are getting out of school and warmer weather has arrived once again. It is time for lazy days, water play, picnics and barbecues, baseball and golf, and lemonade and ice cream. Although there are many great aspects to enjoy about this time of year, sweltering heat in your house is not one of them. Living in New Mexico, you know that the heat can be unbearable at many times throughout the summer. If you are ready to enjoy summer in your own home without breaking your budget, consider installing a refrigerated air unit.
What is Refrigerated Air Conditioning?
A refrigerated air unit is a type of air conditioning system that is not only popular, but also reliable for keeping your home at tolerable and comfortable temperatures. Refrigerated air conditioning takes air from a particular room and runs it over cool evaporative coils. The air is cooled, and then forced back into the room. Refrigerant coolant is used to cool the evaporative coils in this process.
The Benefits of Refrigerated Air
Many homeowners in New Mexico are already experiencing the many benefits of using refrigerated air. These benefits include filtered air, a consistent temperature, unaffected by excess humidity, increased home values, and cooler air when compared to other home cooling options. Refrigerated air does not use water, and is preferable in states like New Mexico that are experiencing drought conditions. A refrigerated air cooling unit also prevents air pollutants from entering the home; a top benefit for allergy and asthma sufferers. A refrigerated air unit also does not require open windows or doors.
Though evaporative cooling can be more cost effective, many homeowners notice that the moist air it produces causes many problems in the home. When the temperature of the air has reached 95 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, or when there is excessive humidity in the air, evaporative cooling may not work. It can also leave items in the home feeling soggy or wet.
If you are concerned about your family’s carbon foot print, know that your unit has been professionally installed and you are still in control of your energy consumption. Using timers and automatic thermostats can further help decrease your carbon emissions and help keep your budget on track.
If you are ready to find out how refrigerated air conditioning can help you stay cool in your home this summer, call Anderson Air Corp at (505) 855-9028 to speak to a Refrigerated Air Specialist. A friendly specialist will assess your needs and your home to help you find the correct cooling solution for your family that fits your budget.