Does it take longer than before for your air conditioner to cool your home? Or the air coming out of the vents feels warmer than usual? If the thermostats are displaying correct temperatures and your filters are clean, the problem may be low refrigerant levels in the AC. We have compiled four signals to consider when determining diminished quantities of refrigerant in your AC system.
Higher Energy Bills
Low levels of refrigerant make the AC system work harder to achieve your desired indoor temperatures. Since the system is overburdened, it will also consume more energy than normal circumstances leading to higher electricity bills every month. In other words, refrigerant to an air conditioner is like oxygen to humans. If the refrigerant quantity is low, the AC will be exhausted more quickly, thus requiring more time and energy to chill your home.
The reason behind the diminished performance is that refrigerant soaks up heat and moves it outside the house with every cooling cycle. If the AC is working with smaller refrigerant quantities, more cycles will be required to attain a prescribed temperature than it would if the quantity is sufficient. If you have seen an increase in bills over the last few months, chances are your air conditioner needs repair.
Hissing or Bubbling Noise
Whenever you are suspicious about a refrigerant leak in your AC system, check for hissing or bubbling sounds coming from the AC. Normally, the sounds will be uttered by a joint or small hole along the lines. The best way to check is by turning off your AC and observing if the sound is present. The noise will be identical to the hiss that comes from a gas pipe leak. If you can identify the leak early, you can save yourself money.
Warmer Air Coming From the Vents
The solitary purpose of an air conditioner is to blow cold air into the room during summers. However, poor levels of refrigerant may reduce the amount of heat absorbed by the AC. This results in the air blown out by the vents feeling warmer than it would otherwise on your preferred temperature. In other cases, the airflow from the AC may be reduced as well. The problem is generally triggered by ice blocking the vents, reducing the efficiency of the system.
Ice Present on Refrigerant Lines
Professionals working with HVAC systems recommend users inspect their AC units in person from time to time. During these strolls, you might find ice building up on refrigerant lines of the AC. If this is the case, there is a high chance that the refrigerant is at its lowest level in the system. Call an HVAC expert if you see ice buildup to have your refrigerant replenished and a further check-up to catch any other problems with the AC. Sometimes the expert will also clean your air vents for proper airflow and clean the filter if it is dirty.