Refrigerant is a substance that absorbs heat from the air in your home. As the refrigerant heats up, it turns to a liquid which can carry heat out of your home. Once the air conditioner’s refrigerant is outside, your AC fan will blow air over the coils, cooling it down until it becomes a gas. Your system circulates the refrigerant, but it doesn’t use it up. If your air conditioner’s refrigerant is low, there is most likely a leak in your air conditioner. Watch for these signs that your refrigerant is low.
Ice on the Refrigerant Lines
The refrigerant lines in your air conditioner transfer refrigerant from one part of the system to another, taking heat along with it. If the tubes that carry this refrigerant get too cold, the moisture in the air around them can freeze, causing ice buildup on the system. Low refrigerant levels are a primary cause of this ice.
Another cause of frozen refrigerant lines is low airflow. If your blower isn’t working properly, you may find that the evaporator coil isn’t getting enough air movement to prevent the accumulation of ice. Don’t DIY your fix. One of our technicians can assess the problem and help determine the cause.
Warm Air Coming from the Vents
When your system is low on refrigerant, it’s not cycling enough of this essential fluid to keep the air that’s blown over the coils appropriately cool. You may find that your home does get marginally cooler than usual, but the air that’s blowing through the vents still feels a bit warm. This is a key indicator that the refrigerant is low.
Inability to Meet Your Thermostat Settings
If your air conditioner is constantly running but never meets your thermostat’s settings, you may have low refrigerant. You’ll find that the system operates consistently and does blow air through your home, but you simply can’t keep it as cool as you’d like. Have an HVAC technician come and check your refrigerant to see if a leak is the source of your issue.
If you’re not low on refrigerant, this issue may also indicate that your thermostat isn’t reading properly. Recalibrating the thermostat can fix this so that it begins sending the right signal to your air conditioner again.
An Unexpectedly High Utility Bill
If you’re low on refrigerant, your air conditioner will have to work harder than usual to keep your home cool. This extra strain on the system consumes more energy than normal and makes your utility bill particularly high.
As the summer months wear on, you will naturally see a moderate spike in your AC bills. However, this should be fairly consistent from year to year unless you’re experiencing especially extreme weather. When the weather is average for the season yet your bills are on the rise, you know that something is wrong and it’s time to call a professional to diagnose the problem.
If you suspect that you may have low refrigerant in your air conditioner, give our technicians a call now for an efficient AC repair.