A working air conditioner is a necessity in every house. Oftentimes, however, ACs stop working efficiently and effectively. While there could be many reasons for this, one of the most serious ones is a refrigerant leak. Knowing when your air conditioner needs more refrigerant can help it do its job more smoothly and avoid any downtime.
What Is Freon?
Freon is the name of the chemical refrigerant that is used in most ACs. It is a noble gas whose unique properties allow it to shift states between gas and liquid form with the aid of the AC's condenser and evaporator. This allows freon to cool down the air that is brought into the AC unit.
Why Is There A Lack of Freon?
Inside an AC unit, the coils are enclosed, and hence Freon should never technically run out. If an air conditioner is low on freon this normally means there is a leak in the pipes.
A leak in the AC's pipes could be due to a number of reasons. It could be due to wear and tear or some components inside the unit rusting. Many old air conditioners could run into this problem.
While you can attempt to resolve many AC problems at home, a lack of freon requires the expertise of an AC repair professional. This problem should also be handled promptly, as ignoring it could lead to potentially more expensive problems.
Signs Your AC is Low on Freon
A Lack of Cooling
If your air conditioner is running but your house is still not cool, you are most likely dealing with a lack of freon. Freon absorbs the heat in the air and allows it to cool down. If your air conditioner is running low on freon, it will stop cooling air, at first slowly, and then all together.
High Utility Bills
If you notice an unusual increase in your electricity bills, it is usually a sign that something is not working properly. If your air conditioner is failing to cool your home properly due to less freon, it will have to work harder. This will result in an unnecessary waste of energy, and that too, without the temperature in your house getting any lower.
While a small increase in electric bills is normal, a sudden spike indicates a deeper problem. You should call for professional services to investigate the issue and resolve it accordingly.
Vents Blowing Out Warm Air
If alongside your house not being cool, you notice that your air conditioner is blowing out warm air, then this points toward a refrigerant problem. Freon, by changing states from gas to liquid and vice versa, allows air to be cooled down. When your AC runs out of freon, it loses its ability to cool air and hence starts blowing out warm air.
Refrigerant Line Has an Ice Build Up
If you suspect a lack of freon, inspect your AC unit for an ice build-up on the refrigerant line.
When your AC unit is low on freon, the evaporator unit gets too cold. This, consequently, causes the cold refrigerant in liquid form to flow back. The low temperature causes the surrounding moisture on the refrigerant line to freeze. This leads to an apparent ice build-up.
Ice build-up on the refrigerant line is a potentially dangerous problem. Not getting it resolved could lead to the refrigerant reaching the compressor. This could cause serious damage to the AC's compressor, leading to an even more expensive repair.
While strange noises from your air conditioner could point towards several problems, a hissing noise specifically indicates a shortage of freon. A lack of freon is most likely due to a leakage in pipes. This is made apparent by a hissing sound from the pipes.
Need AC Maintenance? Call R & S Mechanical Today!
Our technicians are experts in all types of HVAC systems and can help fix yours today! When you encounter an issue with your AC unit, you want a Raleigh AC professional that can provide you with fast, reliable, and helpful solutions. We can provide you with detailed AC installation, repair, and air quality services for your home and business. Call us at (919) 752-4817 to schedule an appointment today!