You can think of refrigerant as the blood of your air conditioning system. When the system runs low on this vital fluid, it can't operate at optimum performance. As a result, you may notice changes to your home's comfort levels. Watch out for these signs of your A/C system having low refrigerant.
Bubbling or Hissing Noise
The primary reason for your air conditioner being low on refrigerant is a leak. If the leak is big, you'll hear a bubbling or hissing noise as the refrigerant escapes from your unit. The sound can originate from anywhere on the refrigerant line, so listen carefully to your system at several different points to try and detect any bubbling or hissing.
Ice Buildup on Refrigerant Line
The buildup of ice on your refrigerant line can also be a symptom of a refrigerant problem. The refrigerant flows through your A/C unit's evaporator coil. If its level is low, the coil becomes extremely cold. This makes cold liquid refrigerant flow back through the refrigerant line. The moisture around the line eventually freezes and forms ice.
Uncomfortable Indoor Temperatures
Your air conditioner needs refrigerant to absorb heat from your indoor air. If the refrigerant is too little, then your air conditioner may take longer to cool your home. You may also notice warm air blowing from your supply vents. However, it's worth mentioning that this problem may also be due to a dirty outdoor unit, wrong fan setting, or issues with the compressor. So you shouldn't use this sign alone to prove that your system has low refrigerant.
Higher Electric Bills
If your A/C system is starved of refrigerant, it will have to work harder to cool your home. As a result, your electric bills may be significantly higher than those of the same period last year.
Refrigerant can be harmful, so it's best to contact an HVAC service technician if you experience any of these signs. If you suspect you have a low refrigerant issue in the Fort Wayne area, please contact the certified A/C professionals at Hartman Brothers Heating & Air Conditioning.