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5 Signs Your HVAC System Needs a Recharge

HVAC
Is your AC not cooling your home anymore? You may need a recharge. Over time, your HVAC system can lose its coolant. A slow leak can eventually lead to your HVAC system not working any longer, even though it appears to function in every other respect. A recharge will replace your AC’s coolant, but before you schedule a recharge, learn the signs that a coolant leak is what’s wrong with your central air conditioning. 

1. The AC Is Blowing but Not Cooling

A major sign of a coolant leak is that your AC is blowing but the air is warm. Without coolant, your AC will still function in every other respect. Air will be pushed out of the vents, but it won’t be cooled air. You may have noticed that the air has slowly warmed up over time; this indicates a slow leak. If the air has suddenly warmed, then the coolant leak may be more significant.

2. The AC Is Making a Hissing or Bubbling Sound

Coolant lines are under a lot of pressure. The coolant itself has to be pressurized to be effective. If coolant has been leaking, the AC may make a hissing or bubbling sound. In fact, any sounds that you hear that your AC system doesn’t usually make are a bad sign. 

If you do hear a sound that might indicate a leak, you should call a professional as soon as possible. The coolant that is used in HVAC systems can be dangerous.

3. The AC Refrigerant Line Has Ice In It

AC units can freeze over when something is wrong. If the refrigerant line has been damaged in any way, the refrigerant coolant will leak out. When coolant leaks out, it can freeze anything that it touches. This is what makes it a controlled substance, which means that it needs to be handled by professionals. Not only is coolant dangerous, but it can freeze and lock up the system. A frozen refrigerant line isn't going to be effective. 

4. The AC Is 10 to 20 Years Old

Older air conditioners tend to experience issues with leaks far more often. In fact, it can be just a matter of time before an HVAC system develops a leak. A 20-year-old system likely has leaks. A 10-year-old system may have less of a chance of developing a leak, but it still has a greater chance of developing a leak than does a 5-year-old system.

There is one caveat. If your system is brand new, it may not have been installed correctly, or it may have been damaged during transit and installation. If this is the case, you'll usually be able to return it to the manufacturer and get it replaced at their expense. You'll still need a professional technician to diagnose the problem.

5. The AC Doesn't Have Any Other Visible Issues

Finally, sometimes the diagnosis depends on a lack of other possibilities. If your air conditioner is clean and otherwise functioning but just isn't producing cold air, then you can almost always blame the refrigerant. You can inspect the rest of the air conditioner for any dirt and debris caught in it or for any visible leaks. 

Before you decide whether or not your HVAC system needs to be recharged, you need a professional opinion. A recharge is a fast and easy solution to the problem, but in order for it to be effective, the leak has to be fixed first. Finding the leak and welding it can be a somewhat involved process, and one that you want to get done as soon as possible. For more information, contact Heatcraft Heating & Cooling to set up an appointment today.