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When Does an Air Conditioner Require More Refrigerant?

One of the myths about air conditioners is that they require constant refrigerant filling to work properly. However, the AC doesn’t need more refrigerant unless something is wrong with the device. 

Consider adding refrigerant when the cooling device stops working. Did you notice leaking refrigerant? Replace the existing refrigerant with a new one to improve the AC’s efficiency.

Certain signs indicate the air conditioner requires more refrigerant. High monthly utility bills are one of the major indicators of refrigerant problems. AC circulates warm air inside the house if this unit stops responding. You need to opt for installing more refrigerants in such instances. Thus, contact an experienced professional and include more freons to the AC.

What does an Air Conditioner’s Refrigerant Do?

Before we talk about when the AC needs more refrigerant, let’s check what this unit does. Refrigerant is a compound that can be found in either a fluid or gaseous state. It absorbs heat from the indoor air and releases heat outside the house. Refrigerants frequently change from liquid to gas to circulate cool air. Thus, the AC will reduce the airflow if this component stops functioning.

Signs that indicate the Air Conditioner require More Refrigerant

It is pretty easy to determine when to add more refrigerant to the AC. Most homeowners take an expert’s help to identify the refrigerant refilling signs. However, you can recognise that by detecting these indications:

  1. The AC is running continuously but not cooling the room

Insufficient cooling is one of the major indicators behind refrigerant problems. The refrigerant’s copper coils absorb the indoor heat and convert the gas to liquid. Then, the fan blows the hot air outside and cools the refrigerator down. 

After that, another AC fan located in the indoor unit blows over the cold coils and cools down the room. If the refrigerant level is low, this entire function will not happen properly. You require more refrigerant to overcome this AC problem.

  1. Sudden rise in the AC’s energy consumption

The air conditioner will consume more energy if it runs continuously. Due to leaks in the copper coils, the transfer of the refrigerant gets affected. Moreover, it decreases the AC’s efficiency and increases the monthly utility bills. 

Besides, the low level of refrigerant never allows the AC to set the temperature. So, check the refrigerant if you notice these issues and fix them immediately.

  1. AC starts to circulate warm air

Warm or lukewarm air can blow through the vents due to several reasons. It could be due to dust or dirt buildup or low refrigerant levels. Thus, you must first check the air vents and ensure they are clog-free. If the AC vents are clean, the problem lies mostly within the refrigerants. 

The AC will fail to absorb indoor heat and circulate warm air due to low refrigerant levels. You need to add more refrigerants to the device to eliminate the issue. Otherwise, the air conditioner will cause problems while running. Furthermore, the AC units might freeze up, and it will block the air circulation.

  1. Ice formation on Refrigerant lines

Did you refill the refrigerant a year ago? Check the outdoor units, and if you notice ice buildup, then it’s time to add more refrigerants. Moreover, the ice can accumulate not only on the copper lines but also on the evaporator coils. You might often see water dripping from the furnace due to insufficient refrigerants. Thus, hire an expert to add more refrigerants to the home air conditioners. 

  1. Hissing or Bubbling Noise from the AC

The refrigerants don’t usually generate any sound when it leaks. Moreover, the tiny pinhole leaks are hard to detect and require professional attention. However, the AC makes hissing or bubbling noises while running with large leaks. You need to fix the refrigerant immediately to get rid of this problem. 

  1. Improper AC Installation

Is the air conditioner turning on and off continuously? There is a high possibility that you haven’t installed enough refrigerant during the installation. Thus, you need to add more refrigerants to improve the device’s functionality. Did you install refrigerants in the home AC a few years back? You shouldn’t install more refrigerants until the system develops a leak. 

  1. Leakage in the Refrigerant line

There is a leak somewhere in the refrigerant line if the AC is low on refrigerant. However, you can’t fix this issue by adding more refrigerant to the device. You need to first repair the leak, and then more refrigerants should be installed. But, you may not always require more refrigerant after fixing the leak. Contact an experienced expert to know whether the AC needs more refrigerant or not. 

Risks associated with Low AC Refrigerant Level

The refrigerant level is a crucial factor to check during AC maintenance. Knowing when to recharge the refrigerant will help you to avoid a major breakdown. 

Here are the consequences you have to face for not adding refrigerant on time:

Develops major AC-related issues

The AC loses its ability to transfer heat from inside to outside when it is low on refrigerant. Besides, the cooling device will take an ample amount of time to reduce the room temperature. It may also increase the moisture level inside the house. Thus, add more refrigerant in such circumstances to resolve the problem. 

Decreases the device’s lifespan

Another risk of low refrigerant is that it can cause damage to the AC. The cooling device still tries to condense gaseous refrigerant to a liquid when it reaches the condenser. But, low refrigerant volume freezes the coils and restricts the airflow. If you don’t add more refrigerants on time, it can decrease the AC’s lifespan.

Triggers health problems

A leak in AC refrigerants is a serious concern for homeowners. These refrigerants release harmful CFC gas and are known to deplete the ozone layer. If you don’t repair the leak immediately, it could cause respiratory problems. Thus, contact an expert whenever you notice any refrigerant leakage signs. These professionals will fix the leak and add more refrigerants if required. 

How often do you need to add refrigerants to an AC?

You might be wondering how frequently you should add refrigerants to the AC. Well, this might vary depending on certain factors. If you have installed the refrigerant properly, then you might never have to add more in the future. However, improper installation will cause low refrigerant issues and requires immediate replacement. 

Moreover, AC refrigerants can last for an average of 10-12 years. After that, you need to refill the refrigerant to ensure the AC is working properly. However, you should contact a professional expert before adding the refrigerants. They will check the refrigerant’s condition and add more to improve the AC’s performance. 

Do You Need an Expert’s Help to Add More Refrigerants?

You should never try to install refrigerants on an air conditioner. Instead, hire a professional expert for a hassle-free refrigerant replacement. They have the tools required to change the existing refrigerants with new ones. Moreover, the AC technicians can add the required number of refrigerants quickly. So, look for an experienced expert and get the right refrigerant for the air conditioner.