Repairing storm damage to the air conditioner

Do You Need a Refrigerant Recharge in Your Home? Here Are the Signs That Point to "Yes."

by Ivan Prescott

When the weather grows ever warmer, you really depend upon your air conditioning system to deliver indoor comfort in the form of chilled air. Whilst your air conditioning system is made up of several different components, none of them can work without refrigerant. When your air conditioning system has low refrigerant levels, it's time for a refrigerant recharge—but how do you know when the levels are low? If you watch for the signs of low refrigerant discussed below, you'll be able to get the refrigerant recharge as soon as it's needed (and thus to keep your home comfortable!)

The Air Conditioner Works...But Not Like it Did Before

One of the main reasons that the need for a refrigerant recharge often takes people by surprise is that the air conditioner still works when a recharge is needed. However, it doesn't cool the home down like it did before. The difference can be quite small—just a few degrees warmer—in the beginning. However, over time you'll notice that it's warmer and warmer, even when you've set the temperature quite low. If the air conditioner is still cooling the home, but it's not doing so nearly as well as before, a refrigerant recharge will likely solve the issue.

The Air Conditioner Runs Longer and Longer to Cool the Home 

When you have the right amount of refrigerant, your air conditioner will run for a relatively short period to cool down the home. When refrigerant is low, the air conditioner will run longer, as it's a struggle to get the home cool. You may notice that the air conditioner is running for longer and longer periods, or you might not realise this until you get the increased power bills that go along with the increased running time. Once your refrigerant is recharged, you should see the air conditioner return to its usual running times.

The Power Bills Keep Going Up...Right Alongside the Indoor Temperature

As mentioned above, the power bill increase may be your first indicator that a refrigerant recharge is needed. If you haven't dramatically changed your habits -- meaning that you're not using the air conditioner more often or suddently setting it at a much lower temperature -- but your power bill has risen sharply, it's probably time for a refrigerant recharge. The power bills are a direct result of how your HVAC system operates. If it's operating far from its peak efficiency due to lack of refrigerant, your power bills reveal it. With a refrigerant recharge, your HVAC system should be functioning at its peak again -- and your power bills should dip back to normal levels. 

If you've observed any of the things above in your home, call an air conditioning repair specialist today for help. A refrigerant recharge can usually be done in less than an afternoon's time. Before you know it, your home will feel cool and comfortable again!