Refrigerant leak requires repair

When I purchased a home in Chicago, the furnace was nearly brand new but the air conditioner was outdated.

  • According to the home inspection, the AC unit could be expected to last several more years.

Since the house required quite a few expensive updates, I was hoping to avoid replacing the cooling system. I made sure to be conservative with the thermostat setting, change the air filter regularly and schedule professional maintenance in the spring. The first summer in our new home, the air conditioner seemed to operate just fine. Even if the unit made quite a bit of noise and seemed to run non stop, the house was nice and cool. In the middle of July, there was suddenly nothing but warm air flowing from the vents. I checked the batteries in the thermostat and tried the reset button on the cooling unit but nothing fixed the problem. I had no choice but to call a licensed contractor for AC repair. The heat and humidity in Chicago can be extreme. The house quickly became overheated, sticky and horribly uncomfortable. I was very thankful when the technician showed up to check out the system. He tested the operation and figured out that there was a very small refrigerant leak. There was no way to know if it was a new or an old leak. He suggested recharging the refrigerant and hoping for the best. The repair could last for a month or several years. The cost of the service was two hundred dollars, which was far less than replacing the whole cooling system. The repair solved the problem for one year. The following July, there was once again nothing but warm air flowing from the vents. I was unwilling to invest another two hundred dollars into an old and failing unit. I called the same HVAC contractor back. This time, I decided to invest into a new cooling system.


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