The Dangers Of Having Low Refrigerant In An Air Conditioning System


If you have a refrigeration system at your place of business, or if you are using an air conditioning system, one of your primary concerns should be about the level of refrigerant that is currently within that system. As you might imagine, this could cause some significant problems. Not only will you potentially have warmer air, but you may also compromise everything. Let’s discuss the dangers of having low amounts of refrigerant in your air conditioning system, and how you will be able to resolve or prevent this problem from happening.

Common Problems Associated With Low Refrigerant

If you have a low amounts of refrigerant in your air conditioning system, you can encounter the following problems. You will have a substantial loss in cooling power. Essentially, lower amounts of refrigerant means that your system will not be able to absorb as much heat, and therefore it will not work as well. This will prompt you to charge the system, something that is done with an HVAC professional. Other problems that may occur will include icing that will appear on the indoor coil, and even worse, you can damage or compressor.

What Type Of Damage Can Occur To The Compressor?

This is by far the worst problem that you can experience as a result of having low amounts of refrigerant. It can also be the most expensive to repair. This has to do with the change in pressure that will occur. Compressors are designed to operate with a specific amount of coolant, and they must also have a specific range of pressure that allows them to operate properly. If the pressure goes to low, or too high, the entire compressor can burn out. This is almost always caused by low amounts of refrigerant. If you are not monitoring how much refrigerant you have in your system, you could be looking at several thousand dollars in repairs. There are definitive warning signs to look for which will indicate that you need to recharge your system.

Indications That You Have Low Amounts Of Refrigerant

There are several indications that you have low amounts of refrigerant in your system. The first, and most obvious, is a noticeable drop in how cool the temperature is inside. If you can look at the coils that are on your unit, if you see ice building up, this is an indication that coolant levels are low. If your AC does not stop running, or if you start to hear hissing sounds, you will know that there are substantial problems. To avoid all of this, you need to be aware of how much coolant is in your system. This is something that you may not be able to check on your own. This will require you to have regular maintenance done on your AC systems to prevent these problems from occurring.

How To Find HVAC Professionals That Can Help You

Many of the HVAC professionals in your community will be able to provide you with regular maintenance. As a general rule, every six months, they should come out to evaluate your system. It is during this time that they will be able to get into the inner workings of your AC unit. They will notice all of these potential indications of low coolant. They can also check your coolant right away, and if it is low, they can recharge your system.

What Type Of Coolant Should You Use If You Are Low?

If your system is running low on coolant, you have two options. First of all, you can have it charged with the same type of refrigerant that you are using right now. In many cases, this will be Freon, but this is a refrigerant that soon will not be available. Due to its poor interaction with the ozone layer, and the damage that it has caused over the decades, it will soon be outlawed. Therefore, your second choice, if you have Freon, is to replace it with something else. There have been many alternative coolants, primarily hydrochlorofluorocarbons, that can provide many benefits.

Alternatives To Freon That You May Want To Consider

Some of the alternatives that you may want to consider using include R-404A, R-410A, R-407C and R-134A. These will use a multitude of different chemicals including non-harmful chlorofluorocarbons, hydrochlorofluorocarbons, and also haloalkane refrigerants. There are some that have very complex chemical structures, refrigerants that use a wide variety of components that make them very similar to Freon. The main differences are that they will not harm the ozone layer, and that they can provide you with a much higher level of energy efficiency. An example of that would be using TdX 20 from instead of R-22. Due to its ability to absorb just as much heat at lower pressure, you can actually extend the life of your compressor and save money on your electric bill.

Do You Need To Change Out Your R-22 Soon?

The main reason that there are so many additional refrigerants on the market today is because of how Freon will soon be eliminated. As mentioned before, it was shown to cause damage to the ozone layer, that protective layer of the atmosphere in the stratosphere that blocks ultraviolet light. Therefore, if you have a small air conditioning unit at home, or if you have a large corporation with many of these units, you need to start as soon as you can. You will have to choose between the many advanced refrigerants that are on the market today to replace R-22 as soon as you can.

This overview of the many dangers associated with having low amounts of refrigerant should prompt you to contact an HVAC professional. They will do an assessment of your system, and if they notice any of the obvious signs of low coolant, they will recharge your refrigeration unit. You can choose to put in a different coolant if you want to, and if you have R-22, this needs to be done anyway. Just make sure that you are working with the best HVAC professional in your community that will do a good job at an affordable rate.

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