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Is Your Central Air Conditioner Low on Refrigerant?

If your air conditioner just isn’t keeping your home as cool as it did, it may need to be checked for Freon leaks and low refrigerant levels. Chlorofluorocarbon, another name for Freon, is a refrigerant used in air conditioners and other types of electrical equipment because of its ability to make things cold. When refrigerant levels are low, it can manifest itself in any of these conditions below. If you suspect low Freon, contact your local HVAC company for a recharge service.

Inadequate Cooling

If your air conditioner is not putting out cold air or cycles for a long time it could need to be recharged with refrigerant. Usually, when your system is operating correctly, the refrigerant travels through the copper tubing within the condenser and gets super cold. If you do not feel cold air come through the vents when the system starts and the blower engages, then most likely low refrigerant is the culprit.

System Won’t Start

Sometimes, when refrigerant levels are extremely low, the system will not start at all. That is a good thing because it protects the system from damage by running dry. If your system will not start it is a possibility that it is low on Freon.

Liquid Pooling around Condenser Coils

If you find pools of liquid around or near the condenser coils this is probably a Freon leak. An HVAC technician will have to locate the source of the leak, make the necessary repairs and refill the Freon. Leaks are a common cause of low refrigerant levels.

High Energy Usage

Another sign of low refrigerant is higher utility bills. This is not as easily recognized as some of the signs above because utility bills come once per month and only then do you realize something is wrong. The system cycles longer in an attempt to maintain the temperature. Increased electricity usage results in higher bills.

How AC Repair Technicians Detect Freon Leaks

One way that HVAC technicians can find out if your system is running low on Freon is by using a “sniffer”, an electronic refrigerant detector that gives off a sound or a visual indication of a leak. There are other techniques as well, such as injecting dye into the system and checking for pooling.

Recharging a cooling system’s refrigerant is an easy job for a trained, professional HVAC technician. This is a common repair that takes only a few minutes, getting you back into the cool comfort of air conditioning. Contact ABA Heating and Cooling if you are experiencing any of the conditions above, our NATE-certified technicians will have your system humming again in no time.