How do I know if my AC unit is low on freon?  Pippin Brothers, Lawton, OK
April 22, 2015

Something’s wrong. 

You’re pretty sure your home’s AC system is low on refrigerant. 

But before you call a Lawton, OK professional for help, of course, you want to be absolutely sure you have this problem.

We totally understand, so here to help are 3 signs that point to low refrigerant. 

Your AC is blowing hot air 

To cool your air, your AC needs refrigerant. Too little refrigerant leads to your AC blowing lukewarm or warm air. 

Of course, other things could cause this problem as well, including:

  • Dirty outside unit

  • Thermostat‘s fan setting is set to ON instead of AUTO

  • Issues with the compressor

With that in mind, look for these other 2 signs.

The refrigerant line has ice on it 

You know how spraying a compressed air duster for a long time makes the can really cold? That’s because the low pressure in the can quickly lowers temperature.

Well, something similar to that happens in your air conditioner is low on refrigerant. Low refrigerant means low pressure and low pressure means low temperatures that will eventually freeze something called an evaporator coil. 

When the evaporator coil freezes, cold liquid refrigerant flows through the refrigerant line, causing the surrounding moisture in the air to freeze. So that’s why the refrigerant line has ice on it.

Again, this sign could be caused by other issues. 

Your hear a hissing or bubbling noise

There’s a lot of pressure in the refrigerant lines. So if there’s a large refrigerant leak, you’ll hear a hissing or bubbling noise (almost like the sound when squeezing a balloon that has a hole in it).

By the way, a leak is the most likely the ONLY reason why you’d be low on refrigerant. 

Refrigerant isn’t “used up” like a car uses gas. So if you see the signs of low refrigerant, that usually means a technician needs to find and fix the leak. 

What to do now

By law, a professional technician cannot “top you off” with more refrigerant if they know there’s a leak. 

Even if someone did add more refrigerant, you’d regret it because the leak will allow the refrigerant to escape again (and that stuff is expensive). Also, your AC will work inefficiently and eventually become damaged.

What we recommend: Call an AC technician to find and fix the leak—THEN add more refrigerant

Need someone to check out your air conditioner? Contact Pippin Brothers for help.

Pippin Brothers is the Lawton-area’s most trusted heating, air conditioning and plumbing company. We’ve been serving the Greater Lawton, Fort Sill, and Duncan, Oklahoma area since 1978. Contact us for more information.

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