The freon in your AC system plays a pivotal role in keeping your indoor air cool and comfortable. Unfortunately, your home air conditioner may experience a freon leak at some point and can result in your home feeling hot and humid. Here are some early symptoms of low freon in your central air conditioner you can detect before the problem gets out of hand.
Symptoms of Low Freon in Your Central Air Conditioner
- A Decrease in Cooling Power
- Frozen Evaporator Coil
- Higher Electric Bills
- Hissing Sounds From the Indoor Unit
One of the chief responsibilities of refrigerant is absorbing heat that’s inside your home and then transporting it outside. It can’t do this effectively, though, if the refrigerant is low. If you notice your house just isn't staying cool, you may have a freon leak.
No matter your thermostat setting, it may remain hot in your home. That’s because the refrigerant keeps seeping through some crack or hole in a refrigerant component. Or, it may take a long time for your home to cool down. This is also indicative of decreased cooling power, which points to a refrigerant component being compromised in some way.
A clear indication of a possible freon leak with your AC system is frozen evaporator coils. Typically, the refrigerant in your system provides adequate heat to this coil, which is supposed to prevent freezing issues.
If you suspect a freon leak, head outside to the exterior AC unit. The evaporator coil is in the back of your AC unit and leads directly into your home. If this coil is physically cold and there are visible signs of frost, your refrigerant levels may be leaking. You should then turn your AC unit off completely. Doing so will give the evaporator coil enough time to thaw before a licensed HVAC contractor can inspect your system. In the meantime, you might want to invest in some portable fans until the contractor can patch up the leak.
It’s recommended to check the evaporator coil a couple of times a month. This visual inspection will take only a few seconds, and you don’t need any extensive AC repair knowledge or training to know that this part is frozen.
You can sometimes spot a potential AC freon leak without ever inspecting your AC system. You'll want to pay close attention to your monthly electric bills. Are they higher than normal? If you’re paying significantly more – and can’t think of a reason why – it may be because your AC refrigerant is low. As mentioned earlier, low freon levels equate to longer wait times regarding your home reaching the set temperature on the thermostat. This process means your AC unit is using more energy which will lead to more expensive energy bills.
It’s a good idea to keep track of your electric bills year-round. If they spike out of control at any point, you’ll know to follow up and inspect your HVAC system for leaks. At the very least, you’ll realize that you’re spending more than necessary on energy and can take the countermeasures required to save more money each month.
In addition to performing visual inspections, you’ll also want to conduct auditory inspections as well. Like with most home appliances, your AC unit shouldn't make a ton of noise inside your home. If it does, such as a gargling sound, chances are a component has a leak where the refrigerant is escaping.
When performing this auditory inspection, make sure your house remains relatively quiet. Turn off the television, put your pets up, and tell your family to remain silent until you’re finished listening for hissing sounds.
If you pick up these sounds, you’ll want to mark off where you heard them come from as this will help your HVAC technician that comes out to patch up the leak. They’ll see these markers and won’t have to waste any time when coming up with a viable solution.
Contact an AC Repair Company
Although freon leaks may seem like a minor issue, they can lead to costly electric bills and prevent your family from getting comfortable when it’s hot outside. That’s why it’s so important to pay attention to signs of a potential AC freon leak so that you can respond appropriately.
If you do suspect a leak, contact a licensed AC repair company who can offer 24 hour AC repair. They're more than qualified to inspect your refrigerant components and can patch up any leaks that are present. Not only will this help your system work efficiently, but it will also make the summer months easier to get through for your entire family.