Will you immediately recognize the signs of low refrigerant in your air conditioner? Maybe not, but eventually, they will be impossible to ignore.
Refrigerant is the chemical that converts from a cool liquid to a hot gas and back again. Circulating in your A/C, refrigerant extracts heat from inside your house at the indoor evaporator coil, then disperses the heat into the air at the outdoor condenser coil. The amount of refrigerant in your system is a very exact specification. Once that level drops, a wide range of symptoms may occur, usually worsening over time.
Signs of Low Refrigerant
- Cooling issues. Even though you hear your air conditioner running longer and longer cycles, the house feels less comfortable. Eventually, an air A/C with insufficient refrigerant will run nearly continuously yet the house will stay uncomfortable.
- High indoor humidity. Frigid refrigerant passing through the evaporator coil condenses water vapor out of indoor air, lowering indoor humidity. When the refrigerant level drops below specifications, humidity reduction is compromised and the house feels uncomfortably damp and muggy.
- Rising monthly bills. Is your electricity bill climbing without explanation? An A/C running extended cycles due to low refrigerant gradually increases electrical consumption that shows up as higher monthly bills.
- Coil ice formation. If your indoor evaporator coil repeatedly accumulates ice, insufficient refrigerant may be the reason. When levels decline below the standard, refrigerant doesn’t extract enough heat to keep the coil temperature above freezing. Resultant ice formation on the coil obstructs system airflow, which may eventually damage critical components like the compressor.
Resolving Refrigerant Issues
Since air conditioners don’t consume refrigerant, low levels usually indicate a small system leak. A professional HVAC service technician can utilize specialized equipment to locate the leak and make a permanent repair. After refrigerant is added, the symptoms of low refrigerant will be resolved and cooling performance and efficiency will be restored.
For qualified service to diagnose and repair low refrigerant issues, contact Detmer and Sons.