7 Signs Your AC Unit Needs Refrigerant

a hot room

What Is Refrigerant?

Refrigerant is a gas that you may know by brand names such as Puron. Every AC system needs refrigerant to cool the air effectively. Refrigerant is crucial for triggering the heating and cooling processes. Without refrigerant, your air conditioner cannot do its job.

Keep reading to find the seven most common signs that your ac unit is low on refrigerant and what steps you should take next.

Seven Signs Your AC Unit is Low on Refrigerant

Not Meeting the Thermostat: It’s essential to take action if the temperature in your house never reaches the temperature you’ve set on the thermostat. For example, if you set your thermostat at 70, but the actual indoor temperature never matches that number, there’s an issue with your AC, and it likely is low on refrigerant.

Blowing Warm Air: Low refrigerant levels can cause your vents to blow warm air into your house. Though warm air could indicate several problems, low refrigerant should be the first thing a technician checks.

Slow to Cool: If your AC takes longer than usual to cool your home, you may have low refrigerant. With high summer temperatures, your AC is in overdrive to bring the temperature down. Your unit needs refrigerant to do so, and the less refrigerant it has, the slower this process will be. Unfortunately, the harder your ac works and the longer it takes for your house to become cool, the higher your utility bills will be.

Hissing or Bubbling: If your ac is low on refrigerant, that means there is a leak somewhere in the unit. In addition to letting out refrigerant, this leak also creates a hissing or bubbling noise. If you hear this noise, it means it’s time to have your unit repaired, and your refrigerant replenished.

Higher Than Normal Electric Bills: As discussed above, if your electric bill is higher than usual, that likely means your ac unit is being overworked. One of the most common reasons an ac is in overdrive is because of low refrigerant levels. Try comparing your electric bills month-to-month and year-to-year to find out if they are out of the ordinary for the time of year. If they are higher than usual, have your air conditioner serviced, so you can become more energy-efficient, save money, and ensure your ac unit does not go out when you need it most.

Icy Refrigerant Lines: Ice on your refrigerant lines is not normal and should be addressed immediately. Check your unit thoroughly for ice build-up. This ice accumulates on copper tubing and the evaporator coil in your AC unit when your air conditioner does not have enough refrigerant. If you see ice, have your AC unit serviced right away to prevent permanent damage.

Water Leaks: If a pool of water has accumulated around your water heater, this is a sign of low refrigerant. This happens when the ice that builds up on the refrigerant lines melts and creates a puddle up near your furnace. Unfortunately, this water can then drip onto your floor or into your furnace, threatening costly damages. If you ever see water on the floor near your furnace, have your ac unit inspected right away.

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