What Does Low Refrigerant Mean

As we get set to move from a mild winter into a potentially extreme summer, we will soon be turning our A/C units back on. As we awaken our dormant A/C systems, it is possible that we discover untimely system problems.

One of the potential problems that a technician may uncover is that your system is low on refrigerant. What exactly does that mean and what should you do to correct it?Refrigerant | Gainesville Mechanical

What It Means

We first have to understand the role of refrigerant in the cooling process. When your air conditioning is running during the hot months, the refrigerant absorbs the heat from the air in your home and transfers it to the outside of your home where it is dispersed.

When there is not enough refrigerant in your A/C system, this prevents your home from cooling down completely. The refrigerant attempts to absorb all of the heat in your home, but is unable to do so because there is not enough refrigerant to absorb all the heat load. The result is a mixture of warm and cool air being distributed into your home.

There are a number of symptoms that are associated with this condition. For example, your system may run considerably longer to maintain the proper temperature in your home. Another symptom of low refrigerant is system freezing. When this occurs you may notice ice formation on the outside of the larger copper line connecting your indoor and outdoor units.

What to Do

Refrigerant is piped through your a/c system in a closed loop system. Being closed means that the system does not have any openings for refrigerant to be lost. Therefore, if you do experience a loss of refrigerant it is essential to determine the location of the leak and see if it is repairable.

Speak to the technician about leak detection options. Once it has become apparent where the refrigerant is leaking from, the technician can help you pick the best way to close the leak and keep you cooling.

This is an important step that should not be overlooked. If your system is recharged with no leak check, you run the risk of it all leaking back out again. Constantly refilling a system is both costly and illegal. For more information about the illegal release of refrigerant, please see these documents from the US Federal Government here and here.

Bottom Line

All too often contractors seek to exploit their clients and that has led many to be skeptical of extra services, like a leak check. That is not at all the case and we believe our clients should make informed decisions when they call upon us to make a service call.

The message to our readers is this: If your system is leaking refrigerant you system will not cool properly. It will often experience symptoms that will damage your a/c system and raise your electricity bill. In order to stop the refrigerant from leaking out and to get your system working properly, it is of absolute importance to have a leak check performed. We can then determine what work needs to be done to stop leaks in the future.

Give us a call if you have any leak concerns and let us find a solution for you! 770-532-9130

Refrigerant | Gainesville Mechanical

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