Is Your Home’s AC Low on Refrigerant?

What is refrigerant?

Refrigerant (sometimes referred to as coolant or by the brand name Freon) is an integral part of what makes your air conditioner function properly. It’s a cooling and dehumidifying fluid that helps to create the cold air that cools your house. If your AC has a refrigerant leak and levels start to get low, you will quickly begin to notice problems with the comfort level in your home as well as the unit itself.

Signs your air conditioner is low on refrigerant

AC not functioning normally

Perhaps the first and most jarring sign that your AC is low on Freon is that your unit stops functioning as it normally would. If you start to notice your home is taking longer to cool or has stopped cooling all together, it could be a sign of a refrigerant leak.

Ice buildup on outdoor coils

When you see ice on your outdoor unit in the middle of summer, it could be a sign of low refrigerant. When coolant levels are low, there is a decrease in pressure that causes the evaporator to get too cold and eventually freeze.

Vents are blowing warm or lukewarm air when the AC is set to “cool”

Check your vents. Are they blowing cold air or warm air? If they are blowing warm or lukewarm air even when your thermostat is set to “cool,” you have a problem. No wonder your home is taking so long to cool!

Higher utility bills

While you may notice some other signs before this one, if you find that your energy bills are creeping higher and higher, it’s could be a sign that your AC unit is working harder than it needs to in order to cool your home. Make sure to keep an eye on your bills and compare them month-over-month and year-over-year to detect small problems before they become bigger.

What to do if your AC is low on refrigerant

In most cases, low levels of refrigerant are caused by small, and fixable, leaks. Unfortunately, refrigerant leaks are not DIY fixes. If you suspect that there’s an issue with your refrigerant, you’ll need to contact your local HVAC expert as soon as possible. The best way to test for low refrigerant levels is to attach gauges to the system, something that a professional can do quickly.

If you believe your refrigerant levels are low and you live in the Canton or Akron, Ohio areas, call Crown Group Ohio for a quick fix!

 

 

Maintain Your Outdoor AC Unit: An Easy Way to Save

Your AC condenser unit (the outdoor unit) is the heart of your air conditioning system. Maintaining this unit, and the space around it, is a surprising way to cut some energy costs this spring. Below are some of our best recommendations!

How to Maintain Your Outdoor AC Unit

Keep the space around the unit clean

Let your AC unit breath! By crowding the unit, you are restricting airflow across the condensing coil, forcing your unit to work much harder than it needs to in order to comfortably cool your home. This can cause your energy bill to rise and cause your equipment to experience more wear and tear and not last as long. Keep the area around your AC unit free from landscaping and shrubbery. Check regularly for dirt or leaf build up and clear the area whenever you can. You may even want to consider building a small fence around the unit in order to prevent extreme build up.

Clean the exterior of the unit

Cleaning the condenser unit will help improve the air quality in your home, keep your unit running efficiently and help you save on energy bills. In order to clean your unit, first turn off the power to the unit. Then, vacuum away dirt, debris, grass clippings and leaves from the unit and the condenser fins surrounding the unit with a soft brush vacuum attachment. If you find that the fins have been bent, you can buy a tool at the hardware store to straighten them. Next, clean the top of the unit by removing the fan. Unscrew and lift out the fan to remove any debris found under it. Because it’s attached, you may not be able to remove the fan all the way and may need someone to help hold it while you clean. Wipe out the interior surface with a damp cloth. Finally, clean the fins by gently spraying a hose over them from the inside out. Reinstall the fan and turn the power back on. Turn your thermostat to cool and make sure everything is functioning correctly.

Schedule regular maintenance appointments

Regular HVAC maintenance appointments with your HVAC company will help to ensure your unit is clean, functioning correctly and free of mold and other dangerous toxins. An HVAC specialist can also do things that you can’t, such as check the coolant levels and clean areas of the unit you may not have access to.