Signs Your Air Conditioner Needs More Refrigerant

October 10, 2018

One of the most common questions we get from homeowners who have central air conditioners is how often they should be putting more refrigerant (Freon) into the system, or how to tell if the unit needs more refrigerant.

Ideally, your air conditioner will never need more refrigerant—this isn’t a substance that gets used up like gas or oil in a vehicle. The only time you need to add more refrigerant into the unit is if you have a leak, and to know if you have a leak, you really need to have a professional AC technician come out and take a look at the unit to clarify whether or not a leak exists, where it is located and what you need to do to fix it before you put more refrigerant in.

With this in mind, here are a few things to look for that will let you know if you need to seek out a professional for air conditioning repair in Chalmette, LA who can fix your leak and add more refrigerant:

  • Constant operation with little cooling: The refrigerant inside your air conditioner is responsible for absorbing heat from indoors and pushing it outside your home. If you have an air conditioner that’s running low on refrigerant, this heat absorption ability gets decreased, which means you’ll have an air conditioner that’s constantly running but isn’t actually doing much in the way of cooling your home.
  • High energy bills: The issue above will cause this second one. Because your air conditioner will be running more frequently in an attempt to cool your home, you’ll start to pay much more in your energy bills. There are other issues that could be causing high energy bills (including closing up your air vents), but this is certainly a possible sign that you’re experiencing some HVAC problems.
  • Lack of air from vents: Not only does a lack of refrigerant result in less cold air, but it might result in less air period. An air conditioner that doesn’t have enough refrigerant could freeze solid, turning into a massive chunk of ice. The ice inside the air conditioner will restrict airflow, meaning the amount of air that comes through the vents will be greatly reduced.
  • Ice on components: If you check outside the air conditioning unit and see ice on the refrigerant lines, this is a clear sign that you have a leak. By this time you should have probably seen some of the other symptoms mentioned already, but this is a telltale sign that you are having refrigerant issues.
  • Strange noises: While most refrigerant leaks will be silent because they come from small holes or openings, larger leaks can cause a hissing or bubbling noise while the unit is running.

Remember, you must get the leak fixed before you add more refrigerant—otherwise you’re just asking for further problems with your AC. For more information about air conditioning maintenance in Chalmette, LA, contact JMB A/C & Heating LLC today.

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