It can certainly be frustrating to deal with unexpected expenses, especially those that give you no warning at all. When your A/C system goes out, there is little chance that you’ll be able to ride out that expense for a few months while you build up the funds. So, like many homeowners, you decide to do what appears to be the most economical thing and get the system back to working efficiently with no leak checks.
But is that actually the best thing to do when confronted with a recommendation to perform a leak check? Here’s what you should know about a leak check:
- An HVAC system is a closed system. This means that if your system is low on refrigerant there is a leak somewhere that needs to be addressed, unless it was undercharged when it was installed
- A leak search determines where the leak is and allows us to inform ours customers of the cost to stop and repair the source of the leak
- In some circumstances, a leak search must be performed by law prior to recharging a system
- Simply adding refrigerant to the system will not correct the underlying problem
So let’s say you’ve spent some money adding refrigerant to your system and a week later you notice the same problem. What happens then? Well, when your repair tech comes out to inspect the unit, he again finds that the system is low on refrigerant. Unfortunately, because you have a known leak, it would be illegal for the technician to add refrigerant to your system again (You can view the applicable EPA law here).
That leaves you with a few short options:
- Sweat it out
- Find where the leak is coming from and what it takes to get repaired
Do you see how much more it ends up costing to not do the leak check? By waiting, this homeowner paid to add refrigerant into their system initially, then they had to pay to have the tech come out again, do a leak check and add refrigerant again.
The Short List
When you do not do a leak check you run the risk of doing the following:
- Serious damage to the equipment and your property is very likely
- Your system will not hold a charge and may fail to operate a short time after receiving refrigerant
- Your system will run longer, putting increased stress on your system and further raising your energy bill
Make the right choice and save money by investing in a proper system repair!