air conditioning unit winter care

air conditioning unit winter care

Is Your Air Conditioner Leaking Refrigerant? Look For These 5 Warning Signs

Lori Harris

With all the potential things that can go wrong with your central air conditioning, an issue with low refrigerant can be one of the easier problems to diagnose on your own. This often happens due to a leak that is somewhere within the air conditioner's system, which means refilling the refrigerant is not the solution. Here are 5 warning signs that you need professional help to fix a refrigerant leak.

Higher Energy Bills

Start by looking at your home's electricity bills and compare them to the previous year. Don't compare the price you paid since there could have been a rate change, but compare the actual amount of electricity that you used. Is there a notable increase in electricity use? Your air conditioner may be to blame. Not having enough refrigerant will cause your air conditioner's compressor to work much harder than it has to, which requires more electricity and can cause that sudden spike.

Bubbling Noises           

You may hear a bubbling noise when observing the refrigerant lines for your air conditioner. The odd sounds are from the line having pockets of air in it, which causes the refrigerant to move around and sound similar to water that is bubbling. A leak free refrigerant line will be full and not make any noises when in use.

A Warm Home

Since your home's air conditioner doesn't have the refrigerant it needs to do its job, you will notice that your air conditioner isn't able to keep your house cool during the summer. If you feel warm air moving through the ductwork, stop using your home's air conditioner immediately. Having almost no refrigerant can cause damage to the unit by continuing to run it.

Frozen Components

An air conditioner does not need to have ice on its components in order to cool off your house. If you ever see frost or ice build up on any component in the system, you have a problem somewhere in the refrigerant line. Frozen components typically mean that there is an obstruction in the line and it has caused refrigerant to build up. The pipe should be cold, but never have ice on it.

Warm Refrigerant Lines

In addition, a refrigerant line should never be warm while the condenser is in use. Try touching the line to see if it is cold to the touch and dripping condensation. If it is not doing that, then the line is too warm to be operating properly.

If you discover any combination of these problems, contact a HVAC service to fix the issue with your refrigerant line.


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air conditioning unit winter care

The air conditioning unit outside your home needs to be taken care of if you want it to keep you cool for many summers into the future. During the winter, should the unit be covered? Do you really need to do anything to winterize the unit? Our blog will show you several ways for you to protect your air conditioning unit through the winter. You will learn how to build a cover, determine if you need to do any work to it and much more. Hopefully what you learn here will help you to keep your unit running well for many years.