humidity as an indicator of refrigerant loss

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Old 10-25-20, 10:35 AM
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humidity as an indicator of refrigerant loss

I have a condo in Naples FL. We had the AC unit replaced in December of 2017. Before heading north in March of 2020 we had a HVAC company check the AC and they found it low on refrigerant. They topped it off at that time. In June of 2020 the AC did not come on. Our condo watcher called a different company to check it out and they found it low on refrigerant again. They added refrigerant and a dye to help locate the leak. They came back about a week later and could not find any dye leakage.

In September I started getting a high humidity notice from a monitoring system in the condo. Could the increased humidity indicate that the AC is loosing refrigerant again? Any thoughts??

Thanks,

Dave
 
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Old 10-25-20, 10:48 AM
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Welcome to the forums.

If you're losing refrigerant that fast there should be a fairly easy to find leak.
If it's not immediately visible then it could be the evaporator coil inside.

 
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Old 10-26-20, 07:04 AM
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Hi, is the filter clean, do you have have good air flow through your registers? Agree that if you are indeed loosing that much refrigerant it should be easy to detect.
Geo🇺🇸
 
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Old 10-26-20, 01:25 PM
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I appreciate your replies and agree that the leak should be able to be detected. I will be back at the condo in a couple weeks and want to be prepared to discuss this with an AC company there.

Do you believe that the increase in humidity levels is an indicator that it is again low on refrigerant?

Thanks,

Dave
 
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Old 10-26-20, 03:59 PM
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Assuming the doors and windows are closed, that there's been no damage to the structure, the ductwork is intact and the cover's on the blower compartment of the unit, yes.

Or your sensor is "Out of Wack".
 

Last edited by ferd42; 10-26-20 at 04:15 PM.
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Old 10-26-20, 05:27 PM
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Lower humidity is a result of the cooling process so technically yes, but it's secondary, temperature, would be the primary indicator!
 
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Old 10-27-20, 01:00 AM
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I've seen one case of too much indoor air flow (550 CFM/Ton!) causing high humidity.
 
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Old 10-27-20, 08:55 AM
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The same roomful or balloonful of air will have a higher relative humidity when its temperature is lower and a lower relative humidity if its temperature is higher.

If the relative humidity of the air reaches 100% then cooling the air further will result in condensation.

Much of the time, including most of the time during a hot humid day, when an air conditioner is operating, the air coming out just after passing through the cooling mechanism (evaporator coil) will be at 100% humidity It then mixes with the rest of the room air and usually the result is that the sum total of the room air will be at a lower humidity as well as at a lower temperature compared with before the air conditioner was turned on.

If the air conditioner is not performing at peak efficiency for example the Freon level is low, the evaporator coil willl not run at as low a temperature for the given flow of room air through it. The air passing through might still be cooled enough to reach 100% humidity but less water will be condensed out of it. Ergo more water molecules of water will still be in the air as it exits the evaporator. And ergo the sum total of the room air will be at a higher relative humidity compared with the air conditioner operating at proper efficiency with the proper amount of Freon for the same length of time. (If the air conditioner is oversized for the room or turned on on a too cool day then the evaporator coil will run at a lower temperature, possibly freezing the condensation before that can drip into the pan below and the air flow is blocked by the resulting frost.)

(Given a swamp cooler style air conditioner using bare ice instead of an evaporator coil or piped chilled water, hot humid room air going in will condense water onto the ice rather than becoming even more humid by evaporating water off of the ice. So we gret the same benfifts as for mechanical air conditioning. The disadvantage of a bed of crushed ice or ice cubes compared with a mechanical air conditioner is that the ice does not last very long.)
 

Last edited by AllanJ; 10-27-20 at 09:16 AM.
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Old 10-28-20, 02:36 PM
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WOW!

I needed these additional words to post a four symbol reply.
 
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