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How to Tell Your Air Conditioner Needs More Refrigerant

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When it comes to maximising comfort within your house, having a well-designed and efficient air conditioning system is essential. But like other HVAC systems in your abode, your AC may act up due to one reason or another. 

One of the common AC repair issues faced by homeowners is low refrigerant levels. The good news is that homeowners can easily tell when their AC system is low on refrigerant, so you can call in air conditioning repairs if needed. 

Here are a few common warning signs to keep an eye out for:

Your AC is blowing lukewarm air

Your AC system's job is to supply cool air so you can beat hot indoor temperatures. If you notice warm air coming out of your air supply vents, your refrigerant level might be too low. The refrigerant is what absorbs heat from the indoor air, so if there isn't a sufficient amount of it available, your AC might start to blow warm air. 

Your AC smells like oil

The majority of air conditioner refrigerants in the market do not have a strong chemical smell. In fact, the refrigerants themselves are often sweet-smelling. If your AC smells like oil, you are probably smelling leaking refrigerant that's mixed with oil.

Your AC runs constantly

Your AC is designed to cycle on and off at regular intervals to allow the cooling system to get rid of unwanted humidity. If your cooling equipment is low on refrigerant, it may resume running before the cycle ends. So, if you notice your AC system is running longer than it usually does, you might have a refrigerant leak problem. 

Frozen refrigerant line

If your AC is low on refrigerant, the evaporator coil will freeze as a result of low pressure and temperatures. The cold refrigerant flowing through the evaporator coil will cause ice to form along the refrigerant line. So, if you see ice on your refrigerant lines, know that refrigerant may be escaping from your AC system.

Hissing sound from your AC

The refrigerants in AC systems have a high working pressure. If refrigerant is escaping from your AC through tiny holes in the refrigerant lines, you may hear a hissing noise. If the leak spots are larger, you may hear a gurgling noise. 

If your AC system is low on refrigerant, chances are high that the fluid is escaping out of the system. A qualified HVAC technician can help you identify and seal leak spots and then re-gas your system to restore normal refrigerant levels.