Signs Your Air Conditioner Is Running Low on Refrigerant

Refrigerant could be considered the lifeblood of an air conditioner, as cold air is produced by putting it through various stages of compression. Therefore, you need to make sure the refrigerant in your AC is recharged in the event of a leak. In today’s blog, local air conditioning installation contractor Sierra Air discusses the signs that your air conditioner’s refrigerant needs a recharge.

Signs of Leaking Refrigerant

Refrigerant leaks typically occur at the outdoor unit, where it’s not as noticeable even if you perform frequent inspections. The following are some of the signs that may indicate a refrigerant leak:

Obvious leaks. Refrigerant is liquid at room temperature, with a consistency that’s similar to grease. Leaking refrigerant lines and the surrounding areas will have a greasy film on them. In this case, don’t touch it or attempt to repair the leak. Instead, turn off the air conditioner and contact your HVAC technician.

Lower output. The less refrigerant your heating and air conditioning system has, the less cool air it will produce. If you always keep your thermostat on the same temperature settings, you’ll notice if your AC is providing less cool air than it should, or if it takes a lot longer to cool the rooms in your house.

A faint hissing or bubbling sound. Leaking refrigerant makes a faint hissing or bubbling sound, which is hard to pick out from among ambient daytime sounds. However,  you might be able to hear it on quiet nights.

What Happens When Refrigerant Leaks?

A eaking refrigerant line will need to be repaired and recharged by your HVAC technician. Leaving the leak as it is can result in the following:

Increased workload. The less refrigerant your air conditioner has to work with, the more it needs to work to meet your home’s minimum cooling requirements. In addition to higher energy bills, unusually high workloads can result in premature HVAC system failure.

Higher indoor humidity. Cold air is a natural dehumidifier. An air conditioner with reduced output can lead to higher indoor humidity levels.

Frozen evaporator coil. Another direct consequence of low refrigerant levels is that the evaporator coil won’t warm up as fast as it should, which can cause the remaining refrigerant to freeze. Moisture in the air would then freeze on the coils. If this happens, don’t try to melt or scrape the ice; instead call your HVAC contractor to schedule repairs.

Call Sierra Air for Your Air Conditioning Needs

Sierra Air is your leading provider of heating and air conditioning repair and installation services. Give us a call at (775) 800-5500 or (775) 625-1654. You can also fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. We serve customers in Reno, NV, and nearby areas.