Low refrigerant is one of the most common causes of your air conditioning unit’s inability to keep your home cool and the inside temperatures consistent during the summer months. Sometimes the temperature change may be barely noticeable; in other areas of the house, you may feel a significant difference, leaving you feeling clammy, uncomfortable, or chilled to the bone. When your refrigerant works correctly, your AC or Heat pump will cycle through repeatedly, absorbing the hot air and ejecting it out of the house.
Will AC Run with Low Refrigerant?
It Takes AC a Long Time to Cool Off – if it takes longer and longer for the temperature in your home to cool down, there is a chance your refrigerant is running low or possibly leaking. Another telltale sign is your AC unit struggling to keep up during the hottest part of the day but catching up in the evening hours. Does it feel like the air flowing through your air vents is much warmer than it should be? It’s important to remember that it may not blow as cool when the temperature is 100+ degrees outside.
Frost or Ice on the Evaporator Coil – When your refrigerant level is running low, it causes the remaining refrigerant to get too cold, ultimately resulting in restricted airflow. This puts a lot of unnecessary stress on your air conditioning unit, often causing the evaporator coil to freeze. Dirty air filters are another prime culprit.
Short Cycling – Your air conditioner works hard to keep the air cool, but when it cannot complete the task, it turns into a condition called short cycling. As the name implies, short cycling is when your unit will run for a short time before turning off and attempting the whole process again. In a nutshell, your AC never goes through a cooling cycle, resulting in warmer temperatures and increased humidity levels inside the home.
Higher Electricity Bills – Low refrigerant levels could be the culprit if your electric bills are higher than what you typically pay this time of year. It’s also important to remember you may already be seeing an increase in your utility bills depending on how high the outside temperature is. Low refrigerant will cause your AC unit to run continuously in an attempt to keep the space cool, essentially running much longer than it usually would, costing you more money.
What Causes Refrigerant Leaking from AC?
Older AC units and heat pumps are much more prone to refrigerant leaks than newer ones. Air Conditioning units have a typical life span of 10-15 years. Your unit’s life can be extended with regular maintenance performed by your Hal Mechanical expert. Other causes of refrigerant leaks include leaky seals, loose assembly joints, corrosion, punctures, and excessive vibrations caused by incorrect installation. Most refrigerant leaks are located in the evaporator coil inside your home.
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To learn more about residential and commercial AC inspections, repairs, maintenance, and new installations in Greater Las Vegas Valley and surrounding areas, contact the experts at Hal Mechanical today.