Most people have little understanding of how air conditioning and AC units work. However, when your cooling system needs refrigerant, you can be sure the system will give you signs.
Sometimes, air-conditioning systems have a leak that needs to be fixed. Other times, the system will need to be replaced.
You can get an experienced HVAC technician to analyze your system and make necessary repairs so your home always remains at the ideal temperature. Regular air conditioning maintenance can help protect not only your AC system but your family as well.
Signs Your AC Needs Coolant
Some of the top signs your air conditioner might need coolant include:
- Your AC is not cooling your home
- Your home has higher humidity
- Your electric bill is higher than usual
- You notice an odor
- Your AC vents are blowing warm air
- You notice ice buildup
- You see pools of water near your AC
- You hear a bubbling or hissing sound from your AC
Your Air Conditioner Is Not Cooling Your Home
Your air conditioner can only cool your home if the refrigerant is absorbing the heat in the air. Without enough coolant, the air conditioner cannot absorb the heat. If you notice your air conditioner is not sufficiently cooling your home, it could be because your system does not have enough Freon levels due to a leak.
Your Home Has Higher Humidity
When your AC does not have enough coolant, you can expect your home’s humidity to increase. Higher humidity levels could increase your chances of growing mildew or mold within your home. For this reason, it is crucial to get your air conditioner repaired and coolant leaks addressed as soon as possible.
Your Electric Bill Is Higher than Usual
You might run your AC unit 24/7, but if you notice your electric bill is higher than it typically is, this could be a sign of a leak in your air conditioning system. This will be a spike not commonly seen with the change of seasons.
You Notice an Odor
Many chemicals are colorless, tasteless, and odorless. However, air conditioning systems have aroma-free chemicals that have odors added to them, so leaks are more easily detected. If you notice an acidic or faintly sweet smell, this could be a sign that your AC coolant levels are low.
Your AC Vents Blow Warm Air
It is one thing for your air conditioner not to cool your home, but if you notice your AC unit is blowing warm air, this needs to be addressed immediately. Your system will likely need leak repairs and additional coolant before it can cool your home again.
You Notice Ice Buildup
You might be low on coolant if you notice ice buildup on your central air or air conditioning unit. This is because the evaporator coil gets too cold and causes the coolant to flow back to the refrigerant line.
Then, moisture surrounding the refrigerant line will freeze. Unfortunately, this needs to be repaired quickly, as damage to your compressor unit could destroy your air conditioning system.
You Notice Pools of Water Near Your AC
You might notice pools of water near or around your air conditioner if there is a refrigerant line malfunction or leak in the copper tubing. You might also hear dripping noises as your system runs.
You Hear a Bubbling or Hissing Sound from Your AC
If your air conditioner is running, and you hear a hissing or bubbling sound, this could be a sign of a coolant leak. The sound you are hearing is the coolant physically escaping the copper tubing or coils, depending on where the leak occurred.
What Is AC Coolant?
AC coolant is a chemical refrigerant used in air conditioners to cool the air. The chemical is also frequently referred to as Freon. As it flows through your AC’s coils, it absorbs the heat inside your home and releases it outdoors. This allows the air within your home to cool.
When Should You Add Coolant?
You should never have to add coolant to your air conditioning system. The coils within the air conditioner are enclosed, so there is no reason for the coolant to get low unless there is a leak in your AC.
If you believe your air conditioner needs coolant, the best way to find out is not by doing it yourself, as you could cause further damage to the system. Instead, contact your professional air conditioning service provider with your concerns.
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Why Do Air Conditioners Run Out of Coolant?
Air conditioners should never run out of coolant. It is not like oil in a car that must be replaced every 3,000 miles because it has all been used. Air-conditioning systems only run out of coolant if there is a leak that prevents the pipes from carrying the Freon through the coils.
Instead of coolant being used up, it changes from a gas state to a liquid state and never escapes the coils or pipes. However, if the coils or pipes have leaks, you might notice your AC system functioning abnormally. Some of the primary causes of AC coolant leaks include:
- Service valve rubber seals are wearing down
- Bees, ants, wasps, and other bugs leave corrosive formic acid, which causes pinhole leaks on copper tubes
- Assembly joints can become rusted
It is important to note that the older your air conditioning system is, the more likely the AC unit will have leaks. Of course, by maintaining preventative care measures, you can reduce the likelihood of leaks that could damage or destroy your air conditioner.
Call Ambient Edge for Help When Your AC Needs Coolant
When your air conditioning system needs coolant, attempting to add refrigerant on your own may be tempting. However, it is essential to address the reason your system requires coolant in the first place. Generally, this only happens when there is a leak.
Make sure you take the time to hire an experienced air conditioning repair company to prevent similar issues from occurring soon after. Contact Ambient Edge for an appointment today and get your AC unit in working order. You can call us or fill out our quick contact form to get your system repaired fast.