Heating & Air Conditioning Tips

We'll help you better understand the heating and air conditioning needs for your home or workplace.

What Are The Signs Of Low Refrigerant?

What Are The Signs Of Low Refrigerant?
Refrigerant, or coolant as it is also called, is an essential part of every HVAC system. If your air conditioning unit is not cooling properly, a lack of the necessary amount of refrigerant is very often the source. To provide cool and comfortable air throughout your home, the levels of coolant must be adequate and stable. This is why a refrigerant check is always included in any maintenance visit or tune-up. Spotting the signs of low refrigerant is not a difficult task, but here are the top three signs that typically point to this issue.
Hissing Noises
A tell-tale hissing or bubbling sound coming from your air conditioning unit is almost always a sign of a leak in the refrigerant line, which in turn causes low refrigerant. Hissing is from the gas form of coolant escaping while bubbling is the sound it makes when the liquid form is escaping. Both are bad news and mean that you need to schedule a repair immediately. Another important note is that refrigerant does not get consumed or used up like gas in a car. So chances are if your maintenance technician or repairman needs to top off your coolant supply, he will also need to locate and fix the leak in the same visit.

The Appearance of Ice
Ice on your air conditioner or even just the refrigerant line is usually a clear sign of low refrigerant levels. The coolant process is highly pressurized, but low levels of coolant mean lower pressure. This low pressure will cause refrigerant to reach freezing temperatures that result in the ice you see forming in or on your HVAC system. This problem will never self-resolve, and the effects of the ice melting whenever your HVAC unit is not being used, can wreak havoc on your system even further. So if you spot ice on your evaporator coils on a nice warm day, calling an HVAC technician should be your next step.

Higher Bills and Lower Cooling
Low refrigerant is going to either lead to your entire air conditioning system struggling to cool your home or failing to cool it at all. If your energy bills suddenly begin to rise while your HVAC system is taking longer than ever to cool your home down, you may have coolant level problems. In some cases, your a/c will fail to cool at all, only blowing warm air regardless of how long it has been running. While this can be due to coolant problems, blowing warm air is a symptom of many different potential problems so it will need to be investigated.

Low refrigerant and the accompanying leaks can cause a variety of problems within your air conditioning unit. It is important to find the source of low coolant levels and fix the leak as soon as possible. Refrigerant is not cheap, and repeatedly topping off a system that is clearly leaking is not only extremely expensive, but it is also foolish. In some states it is even illegal for a technician to simply top off a unit if they are aware of a leak. The good news is most low or leaking refrigerant problems will be caught during your biannual maintenance visits, resulting in quicker and less expensive fixes. For low refrigerant issues and all other HVAC repair or maintenance needs, contact East Coast Heating And Air Conditioning today.

Available 24/7

Call: 386-767-1163