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Does My Home AC System Need Refrigerant?

Refrigerant is one of the most powerful components of your air conditioning system. As such, low refrigerant is a prime suspect when your AC system starts failing. So does your AC system need refrigerant? How can you tell when your AC system is low on freon? The professionals at Bonney have insight for you! Here is a look at some signs your home AC system needs refrigerant and how our local professionals can get it working for you again.

3 Signs You Are Low On Refrigerant

1: Ineffective Air Conditioning 

Every air conditioning system has a specific amount of freon needed to provide effective air conditioning. This unique level of freon will depend on your system, your area, your home, and other factors unique to you. Without the right level of refrigerant, your units will be unable to provide adequate air conditioning. 

Here are some ineffective AC signs that indicate low refrigerant:

  • Warm air is coming from your vents
  • Your home takes longer than average to cool off
  • Your home feels warmer than it should
  • The thermostat consistently reads higher than your temperature setting
  • Your AC system runs almost continuously

In the spring season—and on more mild days—your air conditioning system may be able to compensate for your low refrigerant levels. But as the days get warmer, your AC system will soon be unable to keep up. If you find your home feeling uncomfortably warm despite your air conditioning system running, this is likely due to low refrigerant. 

2: Higher Energy Bills 

When your air conditioning system is low on refrigerant, it may need to work harder to achieve your thermostat temperature settings. As your system tries to compensate for the lower temperatures caused by your inadequate refrigerant, it will begin to consume more energy. You will then begin to see these high AC costs reflected in your monthly bill. While there are plenty of potential reasons you may see higher energy bills during summer, they will be higher than usual with low refrigerant. Consider comparing your energy bill history to gauge what is standard. You may also evaluate your energy consumption—are there any other reasons why your bills might be higher this year? When all other potential sources of usage spikes have been considered, this issue can often be traced back to a problem with your refrigerant. 

3: Shut Down Air Conditioning System

On its own, low refrigerant levels will not shut down your AC system. However, low refrigerant is often the sign of a larger system issue. As some broken part inside your AC system begins to leak freon, that issue may begin to shut down your entire unit. When your AC system stops working, it is always a sign that you need expert care. 

What happens when your AC system needs refrigerant?

Low Refrigerant and New AC Systems

Occasionally, issues caused by low air conditioner refrigerant can be resolved with a simple refill. This is the case with new air conditioning systems. When your air conditioning system is installed during a colder month, it will not have to heat load needed to properly measure your refrigerant levels. In this case, you might find your new air conditioner struggling on warmer days. Thankfully, your freon refill is a quick and easy service that will have your new air conditioning system working as it should.

Low Refrigerant and Older AC Systems

In most cases, however, an AC repair not as simple as a refrigerant refill. Your refrigerant exists in a sealed system. Unlike, say, the oil in your car, it does not need regular refills. Your air conditioner will recirculate the same freon throughout its lifespan. However, low refrigerant is possible when there is a leak somewhere in your unit. To fix your air conditioning system, a professional will need to find and address the source of the leak before refilling your system with refrigerant.

Bonney AC Services in the Sacramento Area

When your air conditioner stops working, the professionals at Bonney are here for you. We proudly serve the AC repair, replacement, inspection, and maintenance needs of the greater Sacramento area. Our service areas include Carmichael, Roseville, Sacramento, Citrus Heights, Folsom, Rancho Cordova, Gold River, Fair Oaks, Vacaville, Natomas, La Riviera, Rosemont, and beyond! You can make your AC repair appointment here online or give us a call to get started today!