Dealing With Furnace Problems

Dealing With Furnace Problems

Low Coolant Levels - What Is Causing Your Leak?

by Eliza Chapman

If you come home and your house is warmer than the temperature is set on your thermostat, there is a good possibility that is your HVAC not working correctly. While there are several things that may cause this, low coolant levels are one of the leading things that you should check. Coolant is the lifeblood of your unit. It cannot function correctly without the proper amount of coolant. But exactly what affects these levels? Some of the causes may surprise you. 

Chemicals In Your Building Materials

When you think of the building materials that your home is composed of, you probably think along the lines of wood, brick, cement, glass, metal, steel, plastics and more. What probably have not crossed your mind are all of the chemicals that can be found in and around your home. Some of these include:

  • Chromated copper arsenic (CCA) - is used as a preservative in treated outside lumber.
  • Formaldehyde - can be found in paints, glues, adhesives, pressed wood products, cloth and more. It can be found in high concentrations both inside and outside of your home. 
  • Perflorinated compounds - are used to make other materials stain resistant. It can also be found in a wide array of products used within your home that range from your personal-care products to your microwave popcorn bags.
  • Phthalates - are used to make flexible PVC. These chemicals are more likely found in your roofing, waterproofing, and flooring materials.

Formaldehyde, which is one of the most common chemicals found throughout your home, can cause metals to microscopically break down and corrode. Two of the metals that it interacts with are copper and aluminum. These are the metals that your air conditioning lines is most commonly made out of. When these microscopic breakdowns take place, tiny holes are created through which your coolant escapes from.

Landscaping Equipment

If your unit is sitting somewhere that you have to mower or weed-eat around, your landscaping equipment may be the culprit of your coolant leak. Although copper tubing is designed to be safe, dependable, and long-lasting, it is a very soft metal that can be easily damaged by repeated hits by your mower, or even repeated strikes from your trimmers. Make sure when you are doing yard work around your air conditioning unit that you avoid areas where your piping or tubing is exposed. It does not take much damage for your coolant to escape.

Poor System Design

As manufacturer's race to get more models to market at a lower price point so that they can remain competitive, they tend to cut corners. Many times copper or aluminum tubing has been replaced by plastics or other materials that are not as durable as the metals they have replaced. When shopping for a unit always ensure that you are purchasing your system from a reputable dealer that carries name brand units. Ask your dealer about potential problems the units you are considering may be having, or about service bulletins that have been released by the manufacturers about those particular units.

If you think that you have a coolant leak, do not hesitate to call a company like Classic Air and Heating that specializes in air conditioning services. Your coolant is the lifeblood of your unit (it is unable to function without it) and if you allow it to remain too low for too long, you run the risk of doing additional damage to your unit. Your AC service technician will be able to quickly locate and fix your leak. If this is your only problem, once they fill your system back up with coolant, it should run like it is new again.


About Me

Dealing With Furnace Problems

A few years ago, I could tell that we were having serious furnace problems. In addition to dealing with a house that was constantly too cold or too warm, we were also plagued by a noisy, smelly furnace that seemed to have trouble on a daily basis. Unfortunately, I didn't know enough about furnaces at the time to spot the problems quickly. One day, the entire system died, and it was beyond repair. After having that experience, I learned a lot about HVAC systems, so that I could troubleshoot future systems. This website is all about teaching you what you need to know so that you don't end up in the same situation.