The Cause of Freon Leaks
A Common A/C Myth
Many homeowners believe that, over time, an air conditioner uses freon. Maybe a long, hot summer leaves a perfectly good air conditioner "winded" and low on freon. We just need to tune-up the a/c and top-up the freon, right? In reality, an air conditioner or heat pump has a sealed refrigerant system that should never "use up" or run out of freon. The freon or refrigerant is only the medium used to transfer heat from the inside of the home to the outside. The only resource that is expended is electricity.
If the freon is not consumed in the process of cooling your home, then it must be lost only by a leak in the copper tubing. For many years, the air conditioning industry has used copper tubing to harness the pressure of refrigerant and bring comfort to the masses. Copper is soft and abundant, and easy to seal in the field with solder or brazing alloy. If copper is such a good material, why do we see so many freon leaks? Is this due to poor field connections, poor manufacturing, or is there a third possibility?