Signs of Low Refrigerant

Steel ladder
Steel ladder

If this is all news to you, it’s probably because most people don’t think much about their A/C’s refrigerant. Which raises the question, if you did need new refrigerant for your system, how would you know? There are a few signs to look for.

The main sign is if it’s difficult for your home to get cool. Have your energy bills gone up significantly in the last few months? It may be because the system has to run longer in order to cool your house properly. Feel the air coming out of the vents. Is it warm? Not enough refrigerant means the air can’t get cool enough before it circulates through your home.


If you notice these signs, then check the outdoor unit for further evidence. Look for ice on it, or water around it where ice has recently melted. A lower refrigerant level causes pressure issues in the system, which causes the remaining refrigerant to get colder than it’s supposed to. This causes your condenser coils to ice over. Finally, listen for hissing or bubbling noises coming out of your system. This is likely the sound of refrigerant leaking out.


If you do need new refrigerant, call your HVAC technician, and they’ll recharge it for you. They’ll also check for leaks in your system. Refrigerant isn’t supposed to need periodic replacement, so if it’s running low, there’s an additional problem with your system, which your HVAC technician will address.


It’s also important to get a system tune-up once a year, at the start of the cooling season, to make sure it’s in good working order. With annual maintenance, your technician can spot problems like a refrigerant leak early, before they lead to undue stress on your system.


To find out what kind of refrigerant you need and whether you have enough, to get a conversion for a new type of refrigerant, or just to schedule your annual system checkup, contact us at Paul’s Heating and AC! Our technicians are happy to help you with any heating or cooling problems.