Ideally, the refrigerant in your air conditioner should last through the entire lifespan of the unit. Leaks can sometimes develop that make this impossible, resulting in warm air blowing around the home. When your air conditioner begins to reach a certain age, many people automatically assume that the culprit is low refrigerant caused by a leak. If this is the problem, simply recharging the air conditioner can restore cool air to your home once again for a short period of time.
Unfortunately, not everyone can recognize the telltale signs that the refrigerant is low. You should know what the first signs are that you may have a refrigerant leak in your unit. Take a look at these top three signs that your central AC needs recharging.
High Temperature on the Thermostat
The first place that many homeowners will look when determining a problem with their central AC is the thermostat. It will often read at an absurdly high temperature compared to the actual setting on the machine. While this could indicate a broken thermostat, it may also demonstrate that your air conditioner simply isn’t keeping up with the summer heat. Attempt to turn your thermostat off and on again to see if anything changes.
One trick to determine if your thermostat is broken is to turn it up very high to eighty-five or ninety degrees. Allow it to stay here for twenty minutes or so, giving the unit plenty of time to adjust. Follow this step by turning it back down low to sixty degrees, listening for your AC unit to turn on again. If this all happens correctly, then the thermostat is not your most likely issue. However, you may still want to follow this short guide to determine if the issue could be your thermostat.
Room Temperature Air in the Vents
Place your hand over the vents in your home and take note of what you feel. Is the air cold or is it room temperature? Vents that are blowing warm or room temperature air could be a surefire sign that your AC unit needs recharging. Experts recommend waiting fifteen minutes before calling an expert to take a look at your unit. After all, every air conditioner will blow out some warm air when it first kicks on. Giving it fifteen minutes allows the air to cool down sufficiently unless there is a problem with the refrigerant.
Frost on the Unit
Head outside to take a look at the overall condition of your air conditioning unit. If you see frost around the connectors, fans, hoses, or any other parts of the AC unit, you probably have a refrigerant leak. The coolant in your central AC can easily freeze the other elements it comes in contact with. When you can see frozen elements around the unit, you know that it is leaking and likely needs to be recharged and the leak needs to be addressed before further damage is done.