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Home » Blog » Top 5 Symptoms of Low Refrigerant in an AC Unit

Top 5 Symptoms of Low Refrigerant in an AC Unit

Technician checking refrigerant levels in an AC unit.

AC units are crucial today for a comfortable indoor environment. But, all its components need to function at total capacity for the best cooling experience. Is your AC taking time to cool or not performing efficiently? Diagnose the refrigerant of the AC unit to locate the cooling issue.
Refrigerant is a vital component of the AC that absorbs heat for effective cooling. The low level of refrigerant signals the decline of the AC’s performance. Thus, recognizing symptoms of low refrigerant in AC units will help to fix the cooling issue early.
We have listed here the top causes behind low refrigerant in an AC and five symptoms to identify it.

What are the Causes of Low Refrigerant in an AC?

AC units rely on refrigerants for efficient cooling. If the refrigerant level falls, the cooling ability will be down. It further results in higher energy consumption & billing. Know the causes and signs of low refrigerant to fix the problems. Let us first check the causes of low refrigerant in AC –

Leakage in Lines of Refrigerant

Any leaks in the refrigerant line lower the refrigerant level. Due to corrosion or lousy installatio thn,ese lines develop cracks. A small leak leads to significant losses in refrigerant levels. It’s also easier to detect the leaks by using specialized tools. But signs of hissing noise or low cooling indicate such a problem.

Formicary Corrosion

Is your air conditioner low on refrigerant? It can be due to formicary corrosion, which impacts the copper tubing of AC units. Formicary corrosion, also referred to as ant-nest corrosion, is caused by chemical and organic acid reactions with copper. It leads to refrigerant leaks through small holes. Corrosion is common in highly polluted and humid regions.

Manufacturing Faults

One cause can be manufacturing defects in the AC unit. Although it is less common, one cannot rule out the possibility. The refrigerant leak can happen due to faulty joints or welds. Also, defective components in the refrigerant circuit lead to leakage. If detected early, these problems can be covered under warranty.

Bad AC Installation

Improper AC unit installation results in various troubles, including low refrigerant. If the lines are not sealed properly, refrigerant leaks are likely. Check the installation of refrigerant lines to prevent leaks. The incorrect installation of a condenser or evaporator can also result in the loss of refrigerant.

Irregular Maintenance

Proper AC maintenance is pivotal to an air conditioning unit’s best functioning. Any negligence in maintenance tasks like checking the refrigerant level can result in undetected leaks. The signs of low refrigerant in the heat pump can be caught in routine maintenance. Thus, the issue can be resolved at that time itself. Infrequent maintenance results in aggravated refrigerant leaks.

5 Symptoms or Signs of Low Refrigerant in the AC Unit

The low refrigerant in the ACs results in a host of troubles. The energy bills go up sharply and the cooling performance also decreases stiffly. Thus, recognizing the early symptoms of lower refrigerant will assist in fixing the performance of the AC unit. Let us check the five easy symptoms of low refrigerant –

Build-Up of Ice in Refrigerant Line

The ice build-up on the refrigerant line is a clear warning sign. It indicates that the AC unit doesn’t have enough refrigerant, which prevents it from absorbing heat appropriately, resulting in a longer cooling time.
Ice in the refrigerant line is also bad news for the heater. It means that the ice will leak water whenever it melts. Take the help of an AC tune-up or repair professional to fix the issue. Don’t wait longer to tackle the problem as you witness ice! This will hamper the total cooling performance of the AC unit.

Abnormal Hissing & Bubbling Noises

Is the AC unit making unusual noises? The hissing and bubbling noises are signs of something wrong with the system. They indicate that the refrigerant level is low due to a leak. The problem will lead to the deterioration of the cooling effect. It is one of the common signs of low refrigerant in heat pumps.
Act fast whenever you hear the hissing & bubbling sound. Book an expert to check the AC unit as soon as possible. They will be able to locate the gas leak instantly. Fixing those leaks will help stop the abnormal sounds. It also prevents significant troubles with the AC.

Warm Air Blow

The AC starts blowing warm air when the refrigerant is low. It is one of the common symptoms of low refrigerant in ac units. This happens as the refrigerant finds it hard to absorb & release the heat. It results in an improper cooling environment. The warm air blows through the vents and it can be identified easily.
Whenever you’ve such an experience, don’t waste time booking an expert. Get the AC unit diagnosed first. The professional fixes the refrigerant issue to ensure proper cooling.

Higher Energy Consumption

Have you received higher energy bills? A low refrigerant level will result in higher consumption, so the bills rise automatically. The sudden spike in the bills is also indicative of a refrigerant issue. Also, if you’re facing a cooling problem, then indeed the refrigerant levels are down.
Contact a reputed AC professional to diagnose the refrigerant issue. This will help to reduce the energy consumption.

Thermostat Not Reaching the Set Temperature

Is the thermostat taking longer to reach the set temperature? This is a symptom of trouble in your AC unit, which can be due to lower refrigerant levels.
Diagnose the AC unit with help from a top professional to fix the trouble. Make sure that the thermostat isn’t broken and operating perfectly. Add refrigerant to the AC unit for proper cooling.

Final Thoughts!

In conclusion, it is essential to identify symptoms of low refrigerant in AC units to maintain optimal cooling performance. Take timely action to address the refrigerant level whenever you witness these symptoms. Thus, seek the help of qualified HVAC technicians. They ensure regular maintenance and repair of the AC unit. Stay vigilant to address the low refrigerant symptoms of ACs. This will help you prolong the lifespan of the system and ensure consistent cooling.

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