Your home's central air conditioning unit relies on a supply of refrigerant (also known as Freon) to cool warm air as it enters the condenser. Over time, however, low refrigerant levels can affect the unit's ability to cool. In some cases, refrigerant leaks can even result in a total loss of cooling ability.
The best way to prevent refrigerant problems in your home's AC unit is to schedule regular inspections and tune-ups; on top of that, be aware of the most common signs of refrigerant issues and how to handle them.
Signs of Low AC Refrigerant
If you have an older air conditioning unit, it is possible that your refrigerant has simply run low. This is a less severe issue than a refrigerant leak, but it's still something that should be addressed.
There are a few common signs of low refrigerant, starting with a higher-than-usual electric bill. This occurs because your air conditioner is working harder to achieve the desired temperature inside your home. On top of this, you may also notice that the air blowing out of your vents isn't very cold, or that your home doesn't seem to be reaching the temperature you've set on the thermostat.
Signs of a Refrigerant Leak
The symptoms of an actual leak in your refrigerant line tend to come on more suddenly and will need to be addressed as soon as possible. You might notice that your air conditioning unit is not working at all, or that it is blowing out warm air. In some cases, you might hear strange hissing noises coming from the outdoor condenser unit due to the refrigerant being forced out of a hole or crack.
What to Do Next
If you suspect that you have low refrigerant or a refrigerant leak, call an air conditioning repair service as soon as possible. Failure to address a leak could result in frozen condenser coils, which can create more problems (and costly repairs) for your system later on.
The good news is that once a refrigerant leak is detected, this is typically a relatively quick and easy repair. And if your refrigerant is simply low, a Freon charge should do the trick to get your home cooled down in no time.
Whether you're dealing with low refrigerant or a refrigerant leak, turning to a trusted AC repair expert is always your best option. With the right expertise, you can get your system up and running again soon.
For more information on AC repair, reach out to a company like Lakeside Heating & Air Conditioning.