Signs that Your Refrigerant is Running Low

The refrigerant levels in your air conditioning system shouldn’t go down. They’re supposed to exist in a closed loop, and your air conditioner needs a specific type and amount — determined by make and model — in order to cool your air effectively. But we live in an imperfect world, and leaks tend to spring up from time to time. When your refrigerant runs low, your air conditioner loses a lot of its cooling power, running for longer periods of time to do the job and raising your bills accordingly.

Even worse, the problem can escalate the longer it goes on until your system suffers a major breakdown. Now is a very good time to check your system for leaks, because summer hasn’t started yet, which means you have time to get it repaired. (Leaks that appear during the winter are particularly problematic, since they can often go for months before you turn on your air conditioner.) Never attempt to correct a refrigerant leak yourself. The refrigerant is dangerous and requires proper licensing to handle safely. Instead, look for these signs of low refrigerant and then call a trusted repair service when you detect them.

  • Hissing or bubbling noises. Leaking refrigerant doesn’t always make noise when it escapes, but if it does, you make be able to hear it if your system is off and you listen. It may sound like a wet balloon being slowly deflated and may even make dripping noises if the breach is severe enough.
  • Frost on the coils. The most telltale sign of a refrigerant leak is frost forming on the evaporator coils. Never touch the frost or try to scrape it off: it won’t solve the problem and you could cause more damage. Let a technician take care of the issue for you.
  • Higher bills. A system with low refrigerant won’t perform as effectively as you’re used to,which means your monthly bills will go up. If you spot an unexpected spike in your rates, leaking refrigerant may be to blame.

Call Clean Air Act, Inc. when you spot the signs of low refrigerant. We serve the whole of Milwaukie, OR and all surrounding communities!

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