During a sweltering North Carolina summer, the last thing you need is for your air…
When your air conditioner is not working during a North Carolina summer, no one is going to be happy. One of the reasons why your air conditioner may not be working could be due to the freon, or AC refrigerant level. When the AC refrigerant is not where it should be, it can lead to many problems.
Our AC repair professionals at Bowman Mechanical Services want you to know what to look for when you believe your air conditioner is not working, including why your freon level may be to blame. We’re going to explain why freon is so important as well as signs that your air conditioner needs more freon and the preventative measures you can take to keep things running smoothly.
Introduction to Air Conditioner Freon and Its Importance
What is Freon and Its Role in Air Conditioners?
Freon is what makes the air cold in your HVAC unit. Without refrigerant, your air conditioner would work more like a fan. Without freon, the blower would still push air out, but the evaporator coil wouldn’t be able to remove heat and moisture from the air.
What kind of Freon does HVAC use?
Before 2020, there were two main categories of refrigerants that HVAC systems at home use, R-22 (Freon) and R-410A (Puron). R-22 was linked to environmental damage, like ozone depletion. The use of freon was phased out in 2020.
Now, many HVAC systems use R410A. Due to the lack of chlorine, it is less harmful to the environment, while still being efficient. It offers better air quality and reliability. But many systems that used to run on R22 can’t use R410A without an upgrade or replacement.
Common Signs of Low Freon Levels in Your AC Unit
Insufficient Cooling and Temperature Fluctuations
If you notice that it is taking longer to get cool air into your home, it may be because your AC system is low on freon. An air conditioning system without enough freon, won’t work efficiently.
Weak Airflow from Vents
Warm air coming from the events can be a signal of several issues with your AC system, one being low refrigerant.
Ice Formation on the Evaporator Coil
Check the evaporator coils on your AC unit and see if there is any ice building up on the copper line. If so, you may need to add freon.
When there isn’t enough refrigerant in the unit, the evaporator coil can become colder than it should, leading to moisture on its line to freeze up.
Unusual Hissing or Bubbling Noises
If you hear unusual noises like hissing or bubbling coming from your house AC unit during the hot summer months, it may be the sound of refrigerant escaping. When you hear this sound, you’ll want to call an HVAC professional to see if your AC freon is low.
Increased Humidity Levels Indoors
When your air conditioning unit loses freon, you’ll notice your home is more humid. If you notice warm air and humidity, call a licensed HVAC technician to look at your system.
Causes of Freon Loss in Air Conditioners
Any wear and tear on your AC unit can cause refrigerant leaks. The rubber seals on the service valve around the valve stem can wear out and leak over time. The outside sensor can also rust. In some cases, an HVAC contractor can fix the problem easily. In other cases, major repairs may be needed to remove rusted parts and fix your freon leak.
You may also experience a pinhole leak. This occurs when naturally forming acid eats away at your copper tubing. Formaldehyde forms Formic acid which forms on the coils. When it does build up on the tubes i it can lead to pinhole leaks in the copper tubes.
Faulty AC Unit Components
The rubber seals on the valve stem on central AC units can wear out over time and cause leaks. The outdoor components can also accumulate rust, leading to leaks.
How to Diagnose Low Freon Levels in Your AC Unit
Performing a Visual Inspection for Leaks
While HVAC technicians can look inside parts for leaks, you can also look around your central air conditioning unit to see if you see any leaking refrigerant. Puddling or wet spots can be an indication that you need to call a professional.
Monitoring Cooling Performance and Airflow
If you notice your vents are blowing warm air despite having the air conditioner at a reasonable temperature, there may be a malfunction with your unit. If there is cold air coming out, but the airflow is low, that can also be an indication that you need to call HVAC professionals.
Seeking Professional Assistance
When your air conditioner system just isn’t running like it used to, it’s best to call a licensed HVAC professional. They can diagnose whether you have old or new air conditioning units.
Preventive Measures and Maintenance Tips for Air Conditioners
Regular HVAC System Inspections and the Importance of Professional AC Maintenance
One of the best ways to keep your HVAC system running properly is to have regular inspections and preventative maintenance. Preventative maintenance from Bowman Mechanical Services can help you avoid higher electricity bills energy and give your system a longer lifespan. You can also avoid costly repairs because licensed HVAC technicians can diagnose problems when they happen, not as they get worse.
Preventative maintenance is important for both new air conditioning systems and older systems. You want to avoid high energy bills and keep the air quality in your home as healthy as possible. Taking care of your HVAC system is the best way to do that.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Air Conditioner Freon
Can I Add HVAC Freon Myself?
Simply adding freon to your system is just a bandage to a bigger problem. If your system is losing freon, there is something deeper going on. A professional HVAC technician can diagnose the problem, repair the leak, and recharge your system quickly.
How much does Freon cost for an HVAC system?
Freon costs can range from $200 to $400 for a refill. The cost depends on the type and size of your HVAC unit.
How often should you refill Freon in your home air conditioner?
You should not need a freon refill unless there is a problem with your system. When there is a refrigerant leak in your system, the leak needs to first be fixed before any new freon is added.
What refrigerant is used in home AC?
Most air conditioners inside homes now use Puron or R-410A as their refrigerant. It is important to note that filling the wrong type of gas or too much could result in catastrophic damage to your system.
Ensure Your Air Conditioner is Refrigerant Leak Free With Bowman Mechanical Services
At Bowman Mechanical Services, we can service your AC unit and check for any leaks or other problems. Let us make sure you are not left sweating it out during the hot summer months. Call us today at 919-772-2759 or fill out the form below to make an appointment.