Effects of Low Refrigerant in Your Air Conditioner

An air conditioning system is based around the use of refrigerant: a chemical compound that makes the whole process possible. Your system first compresses the refrigerant and shifts it from a gaseous to a liquid state (which releases heat into the surrounding atmosphere), then moves it to an evaporator coil, where it is shifted back into a gas (which pulls heat in from the surrounding atmosphere). That cool air is then moved into your home while the gaseous refrigerant returns to the start of the cycle to begin it anew. Contrary to popular belief, the refrigerant isn’t consumed: it needs to stay at set levels determined by your make and model of the air conditioner in order for the system to work. But when leaks spring up or refrigerant levels otherwise run low, it can have a bad effect on your air conditioner: the last thing you need in the middle of another hot Austin, TX summer.


The most telling symptom of low refrigerant is the appearance of frost on the evaporator coils, something most people don’t consider to be a serious problem. Unfortunately, it is. That frost represents cooling power that should be going into your home, which means your air conditioner needs to work harder to do its job. Even worse, the frost keeps the refrigerant inside the coils and cooling the air outside the coils, further lowering your system’s efficiency.


All of that spells higher costs for you, both in the form of monthly energy bills—which will spike to reflect the added effort of the system—and in the increased stress on the system as a whole. Eventually, it will result in a serious breakdown, requiring a very expensive repair call to fix.

Thankfully, a good air conditioning technician can hunt down the cause of lower refrigerant levels and fix it before recharging the refrigerant. Call Intelligent Air Services today to make that happen!