Low AC Refrigerant? What You Need To Know

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Central air systems are a popular investment, and they require routine care and maintenance, just like heating systems. Unfortunately, many homeowners don't realize the type of care that air conditioning systems need. This can lead to complications such as refrigerant loss. Since most homeowners don't know how to recognize the signs of refrigerant loss, they may not address the problem in a timely manner. Here's a look at some signs of low refrigerant that can help you to save on wasted climate control costs.

Poor Cooling

One of the earliest signs that many homeowners notice is poor cooling of their homes. If it takes your air conditioning system markedly longer to cool your home than it has in the past, that's an indication that the system isn't working as efficiently as it should. Usually, that's because the air conditioner has lost refrigerant so it can't cool as effectively.

Freezing Coils

The evaporator coils in the air conditioner typically balance the warm air that the system draws in with the refrigerant used to cool that air, so the coils function without building up ice. However, when the system can't work as efficiently as it should because of low refrigerant, it will run for prolonged periods to try to reach the programmed temperature.

This prolonged operating cycle will lead to excessive cooling. This may cause ice to build up on the coils. When there's a layer of ice on the evaporator coils, they don't cool as effectively. You can eliminate the ice by shutting the system off until it thaws out, but the problem will recur until you have the underlying cause addressed by an AC repair technician.

Warm Or Moderately Cool Air

If the air blowing through your vents doesn't feel cold anymore, that's usually because the refrigerant levels have dropped too much to effectively chill the air. When you turn on the air conditioning and your vents don't blow cold enough air, that's a key indication that you should have an air conditioning repair technician assess the refrigerant levels in your central air system. 

When the refrigerant in your air conditioning system is low, the pressure reading in the system will be low as well. Your air conditioning repair technician can use that pressure test to confirm that the system is low on refrigerant. Then, they can identify the source of the leak and repair it before fully restoring the refrigerant levels to the proper pressure. Talk with an AC repair technician today for more help.

For more information on air conditioning repair, contact a professional near you.