My Air Conditioner is Leaking

So how many times have I heard this phrase this year. Or “I just have my AC guy top off my air conditioner every year with about a pound of R-22”.  Well I have heard that over and over. One homeowner even boasted he was an engineer telling me that it was just a pinhole leak and his power bills have been constant over the last 5 years. That is highly doubtful and even if true does not take into account scientific results of other environmental factors preventing a proven cause-effect relationship. He didn’t want to listen when I explained that leaks get worse over time. So if you are reading this dude, get a grip. If you are a good engineer, then you should know that you need data to back up your obviously emotional claim.

Here is an article that highlights a scientific study by the Trane Corporation that found the root cause for most copper coil leaks: Formic Acid. And yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Clause, and the leak does get worse over time.

In this article it explains that formic acid is etching the copper coils creating those pinhole leaks and that they continue to grow with time.  There is no one solution to these leaks, but rather points to the new industry initiatives to replace copper coils with aluminum coils. Replacing the coil is the only 100% sure fire solution to fix a leak. However it is expensive. And for some people, if there are less costly alternatives, then they want to be presented with them so they can delay the replacement until they can raise the funds.

Some leak seal treatments address this erosion problem without creating a risk to the major motors and valves. However other leak stop products are more of a jell that can coagulate on the motors and valves creating further damage to the system.

Alexander Heating and Air Conditioning only uses products that we trust not to harm your system and may actually protect your investment.


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