Refrigerant is the lifeblood of any air conditioning system. Without it, our Dover, Delaware, customers wouldn’t be able to keep their homes comfortably cool this summer. What’s more, low refrigerant levels can damage your AC, resulting in costly repairs or even a total replacement. Here are some warning signs your AC needs more refrigerant as soon as possible.

The House Won’t Cool Down

If your home doesn’t feel as cool as it has in the past, the air conditioner might be low on refrigerant. AC refrigerant essentially works like a sponge absorbing heat from the air and removing it from your home. The less refrigerant there is, the less heat it can absorb, which can leave your home feeling warm and stuffy.

Before assuming low refrigerant is the issue, check the thermostat to make sure it’s set correctly and has been properly calibrated. Remove the thermostat faceplate and clean it with a cotton swab. You should then remount the thermostat to the wall using a bubble level to ensure that it’s perfectly level. Wad up a paper towel and place it against the wall with a thermometer on top, then tape the padded thermometer to the wall.

After 20 minutes, check the thermometer’s temperature and compare it to the thermostat display. If the temperature difference is more than two degrees, there’s a problem with the thermostat itself and you may need to purchase a new one.

If the thermometer is fine and the house still won’t cool down, you’ll probably need new refrigerant.

Warm Air Coming From the Supply Vents

When an AC is low on refrigerant, it can’t circulate cool, conditioned air. As a result, you’ll notice warm or lukewarm air blowing out of the supply vents. Turn your AC on high and walk around the house to check each supply vent. If you feel warm air coming out, call an HVAC professional.

Since your AC has a lower-than-normal amount of refrigerant, you’ll experience increased utility bills until you can get the problem fixed. That’s because it takes your air conditioner longer than necessary to attempt to cool down the home. Save yourself money and a lot of headaches by scheduling a tune-up at the first sign of a problem.

Ice on the Refrigerant Line

When your AC has low refrigerant, there isn’t enough pressure in the system, which can cause your evaporator coil and refrigerant line to freeze. Checking your refrigerant line is easy: simple inspect your exterior AC unit for any signs of ice buildup on the copper line. You won’t be able to see the interior evaporator coil, but a frozen line suggests this part is also frozen.

If you don’t take care of a frozen coil or refrigerant line, the issue will eventually work its way to the AC’s compressor. Compressors are one of the most expensive parts to replace on an air conditioning system. In fact, most homeowners find that replacing the entire exterior unit is more affordable than buying a new compressor. Keeping an eye out for any signs of ice or frost on the refrigerant line can help prevent these unexpected costs.

Bubbling or Hissing Noises

Refrigerant doesn’t get used up like it does in a vehicle, so the only way your system would be low on refrigerant is if there’s a leak somewhere in the unit. Refrigerant leaks, if they’re bad enough, might create a bubbling or hissing sound as the liquid escapes.

Unfortunately, when there’s a refrigerant leak, simply adding more refrigerant isn’t enough since you need to fix the root cause of the problem. That’s why you should call a trained HVAC technician to identify the leak, fix it, test the system to ensure the repair worked, and then charge the AC with the right amount of refrigerant.

Don’t suffer in a warm house this summer. Call Griffith Energy Services at (888) 474-3391 at the first sign of low refrigerant in your AC system. Our friendly, professional HVAC technicians will quickly identify the problem and have your air conditioner working efficiently in no time, helping you save money.

Image provided by Shutterstock

Dear Customers,

At this time, when the news is dominated by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) health emergency around the world, we wanted to personally reach out and let you know that we are vigilantly implementing enhanced protocols to ensure your safety and the safety of our team.

We are closely monitoring the guidance of the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control regarding the spread of the virus. This is an evolving situation and we will continue to develop and take necessary measures as needed. Our focus is to ensure that we meet customer needs while doing our part to keep you, our employees, and our communities safe.

Here’s what we’re doing:

  • Everyone on our team has received enhanced training and protocol briefings. We will continue to evolve and adjust these protocols as needed.
  • We are implementing telecommuting options for positions where applicable.
  • Non-essential work travel is currently on hold for all employees.
  • We are conducting enhanced cleaning practices at our locations and are instructing employees to continually sanitize their work stations and vehicles.
  • We are also urging all employees to be vigilant about frequent hand washing.

Information for you:
If you have an existing service appointment, we look forward to seeing you and want to reassure you that we are doing everything we can to promote a safe and secure service experience.

During this challenging time, if you are experiencing symptoms related to the COVID-19 virus or have been exposed to it, in order to protect our team and all the customers we serve, we encourage you to please reschedule your service appointment, by calling us at 888-474-3391.

Your safety is our highest priority and we truly appreciate the trust that you place in our team and our company.

Best regards,
Griffith Energy Services

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