Signs Your Central AC Is Low on Refrigerant
When you’re in the dog days of summer, the last thing you need is for your air conditioner to go down. As your AC is made up of several different components, a failing air conditioner can be caused by any number of things, but one of the most common causes of poor performance is a lack of refrigerant. Your central AC unit is a pressurized and sealed system that could be suffering a leak anywhere, causing it to underperform or cease to work entirely. Here are a few indicators that your HVAC may be low on refrigerant.
A Spike in Your Electricity Bills
If your air conditioner is running low on refrigerant, it will have to work harder for longer hours to maintain your desired temperature. Even if you don’t notice the difference in the air quality, you may see a substantial difference in your monthly energy bill. Compare your last month’s bill to the bill you received last year at the same time. If there’s a dramatic increase from one year to the next, low refrigerant may be the culprit.
Uncomfortable Indoor Air
You set your thermostat to a certain temperature because that’s what’s required for you to feel comfortable. If your AC never seems to reach that temperature — or you find yourself constantly lowering the thermostat to achieve the desired temperature — then you may be low on refrigerant. In addition to moving warm air out of the house, the air conditioner pulls moisture from the air as well. If you notice your home feels muggy, then that’s another sign that there’s a problem with your AC due to either a lack of refrigerant or a problem with your compressor. To know for certain, you should contact your local expert in HVAC repair in Kennesaw, GA.
Outside Unit Has an Ice Buildup
When there isn’t enough refrigerant, the unit’s evaporator coil can get too cold, forcing the liquid refrigerant to return to the AC’s copper lines. Moisture that accumulates on these lines will freeze up as a result. If you notice ice buildup — or puddles of water near the unit that are beyond the usual amount of condensation — this is likely due to low refrigerant levels.
Refrigerant doesn’t evaporate on its own, nor is there any other reason for your air conditioner to run low. The only way you could be running out of refrigerant is due to a leak, so if you hear a leaking noise, have it checked out by a professional immediately. If you think you might have discovered a leak but aren’t sure, you can conduct the same kind of soap test that you’d use to find the leak in a tire. Put soapy water in a squeeze bottle, and spray the places that you think might be leaking. If you see bubbles form, then you’ve located the leak.
By keeping a lookout for these clues, you can spot problems with your HVAC in advance and have them repaired before you ever have to go a summer day without air conditioning. To make sure your air conditioning is running the way it should, contact Shriver Mechanical, Inc. at (770) 975-1927. We’re the experts in HVAC maintenance in Kennesaw, GA, and you can count on us to repair your central AC as quickly and affordably as possible. Give us a call today!