The importance of an air conditioner cannot be overstated. Most homeowners depend on the unit to keep their Fort Worth, TX homes comfortable and cool during summer. The air conditioner also helps eliminate any humidity to ensure that secondary issues such as mold growth do not affect your home. Whenever there are problems with your air conditioning system, you may be left with unpleasant heat in your indoor spaces and wondering where to start. However, the safest thing to do is to call an AC repair company for an inspection of the unit and to have the necessary repairs done.
Many issues might affect the air conditioner, from compressor problems to clogged filters and damaged condensate drain lines. However, one of the hidden issues that some homeowners don’t consider is that of overfilled refrigerant. When your air conditioner has an overfilled refrigerant, you might be left with other secondary issues that mean only one thing, the cooling efficiency of the air conditioning system is impacted. It will take a toll on your finances and the system itself.
This is why it is advised that whenever you notice that your air conditioner has a problem, you call an AC repair company rather than try fixing it yourself. The technicians from these companies know to inspect all the unit parts, including the refrigerant levels, to ensure they root out the problem. In this article, you will learn about the signs and effects of overcharged AC refrigerant. You will also learn how a professional can help you fix your unit to ensure that your home can be cooled to those comfortable temperatures you desire.
What Is the Role of an AC Refrigerant?
An air conditioner refrigerant refers to a chemical compound used by the unit during the cooling process of your unit. The refrigerant (also called a coolant) absorbs the heat from the air flowing over the evaporator coils or traveling through your air conditioning system. The cooling is a continuous cycle, and the coolant flows via the air conditioning system while remaining at a constant level through the entire process. This means that the air conditioning unit doesn’t use the coolant. If there are reduced levels, that is most likely a leakage, and you should have it inspected and patched by an AC repair company in Fort Worth, TX.
A coolant is essential in working your air conditioning system to cool your home. For it to lower the temperatures of the air drawn to your air conditioning unit, the system requires a means of removing the heat and creating the cold, and this is where the refrigerant comes in. An air conditioning refrigerant carries heat from the air to the outside with the help of a condenser installed outdoors, releasing this heat as condensation.
After flowing outside, the now-cold coolant returns to the evaporator coils and absorbs more heat. The cool air is blown into your house through the vents, helping control your home’s temperatures. This refrigerant cycle is continuous, and the coils should always have constant refrigerant levels. Should the refrigerant levels change, it could mean problems for your unit. It could be overfilled or leaking. The issues resulting from this mean that your unit’s cooling efficiency will reduce and consequently result in higher energy expenses. Therefore, the coolant is a critical component of the cooling process. Whenever a refrigerant problem needs refilling, you should have it done by a licensed AC repair company.
There are several types of refrigerants that have different compositions. However, they all facilitate the cooling of air. Unfortunately, some refrigerants damage the environment, and the EPA has since halted their production. A great example is R-22 (Freon), whose production within the US has since been stopped by the government. Hence, if you use a freon unit, you might have to replace it soon. To ensure that you use environmentally friendly refrigerants, it is recommended that you work with an AC repair company.
What It Means When Your AC Is Overcharged
An overcharged air conditioner means that the unit has too much refrigerant. This is a much less prevalent problem compared to having an air conditioner that is undercharged. If the air conditioning system is undercharged, it doesn’t have enough coolant. A leading cause of this problem is refrigerant leaks.
The coolant escapes your unit through leaks, resulting in issues like insufficient cooling. However, an overcharged air conditioner could also have issues that require the attention of an AC repair company. Whenever your air conditioning system is installed, it will have sufficient and right refrigerant levels. With the correct refrigerant level, your air conditioning system will efficiently and correctly cool the air, ensuring the comfort of your home.
It also helps maintain the right pressure levels and also various system functions. A lot of coolant means an overcharged AC. It might reduce the efficiency of your AC unit and result in several other problems. Hence, always have an AC repair company refill the refrigerant whenever your unit’s coolant levels fall.
How Does Your AC Become Overcharged?
The main reason your air conditioner might be overcharged is to hire inexperienced AC repair professionals to refill the unit. The inexperienced technicians might unknowingly put too much refrigerant into the system. Generally, this happens after an air conditioning coolant leak or AC installation. When an AC repair company in Fort Worth, TX, installs an air conditioning system, they will place enough refrigerant into the unit. However, an amateur technician may add too much of the coolant, resulting in various problems down the line.
Excess refrigerant can also happen during installation and when a novice makes repairs. It’s simple to identify signs of AC issues and conclude that an undercharged AC is to blame. It’s a widespread fallacy that when there are AC problems, the refrigerant has to be topped off like it would with gas or oil. If the AC system is properly functioning, refrigerant shouldn’t leak out or evaporate over time. Low refrigerant levels indicate that there is a leak in the system. When rookies inspect the appliance, they might overfill the refrigerant to fix the issue. Instead of fixing the issue, they’ll overcharge the air conditioner by adding extra refrigerant.
What Can Happen If Your AC Unit Is Overcharged?
So, what is wrong with too much refrigerant? Is it even a problem for your air conditioner? An overcharged air conditioner might experience various problems. The issue will start as minor frustrations, then quickly result in poor air conditioning efficiency, damage to various components, and even need the attention of an AC repair company. The longer your air conditioner goes unnoticed, the higher the possibility it will have extensive damage. This means that it will need more repairs.
The main issue with an overcharged AC system is the interference with the coolant cycle. The excessive refrigerant in your system means that the refrigerant cannot properly change from its gaseous to liquid forms and vice versa. More of the refrigerant will remain in the liquid state, meaning there will be a pressure buildup within the system. Hence, the air conditioner will be forced to work harder to cool your home.
Hence, you will have to call an AC repair company now and then. If the air conditioner works harder to cool your home, it will be less energy efficient. This means it will use more energy to cool your home, which will take a larger toll on your finances. You will also experience issues like insufficient cooling. The increased strain on the air conditioning system will also result in the burning out of the compressor unless you have an AC repair company fixes it.
Signs of an Overcharged Air Conditioning System
When it comes to ensuring that your home is cooled, especially after a particularly serious heat wave, it may seem like more is better. Unfortunately, this is not the case regarding an air conditioning coolant. This is because an overcharged system runs inefficiently, meaning that it is at risk of completely breaking down or, even worse, exploding. Therefore, you must know the main signs of an overcharged air conditioning system. Watch out for the following six signs of an overfilled refrigerant and contact an AC repair company should you notice either.
Inflated Energy Bills
Your unit should run effectively with proper annual air conditioning service, reducing cooling energy utility bills. However, if you notice that the energy utility bills are increasing following a maintenance visit, you should have an AC repair company in Fort Worth, TX send a technician to inspect the unit. Air conditioning units with too much refrigerant convert heat at higher temperatures than the unit can handle.
Increased Heat Discharge
When trimming those weeds around your outdoor condenser or simply passing by it, you might learn that their air conditioning system is operating under a significantly high refrigerant pressure. Have you noticed a blast of extremely hot air coming from the vents? That is a sign that the air conditioning system produces more heat within the unit.
This results from overworked motors and the extra heat overloaded condensing lines emit. Even while this extra heat might also result from clogged, dirty air filters and blowers, those issues are uncommon if you recently had your appliance serviced. You should have an AC repair company in Fort Worth, TX, come over and inspect the unit for refrigerant levels because it may be overcharged.
Developing Frost Layers
Frost is among the complicated air conditioning issues caused by two opposite causes. Frozen condenser coils may be caused by low refrigerant levels or an overcharged AC unit. Only an inspection from a reliable AC repair company can reveal the cause or reason why the coils are frosty.
A Squealing Compressor
Because the coolant is a liquid sprayed in a gaseous state through the compressor, maintaining the proper pressure in the air conditioning lines is essential. When too much refrigerant is pumped into pressurized AC lines, the chemical is still in liquid form and is forced via small nozzles and spray hoses. Most of the mechanical parts in the air conditioner suffer severe damage as a result, and as sections stall and break, there are loud, ominous squealing noises.
When you discover this indication, your air conditioner will want expensive repairs. Because of the role that a compressor plays in an air conditioner and its cost, the last thing you want is a malfunctioning one. Hence, whenever you hear a squealing noise from the unit, call an AC repair company to have it inspected ad repaired. If the compressor is damaged, replacing the entire air conditioner is, at times, the most economically rational choice.
Shutting Down Entirely
Because too much refrigerant damages your air conditioner, most units have several safety switches that detect the pressure changes and automatically turn off the unit. Your air conditioning system will not turn on again until an AC repair company in Fort Worth, TX, services the unit and resets the switch manually. Even those air conditioning units that don’t have these safety mechanisms can completely shut down if overcharged because of damaged parts like a burnt-out compressor.
Uneven Pressure Levels
If your air conditioner is overcharged, it might start experiencing uneven pressure problems. The AC repair company can send a technician with modern tools to measure the pressure. This is the most effective technique to rule out other typical issues and identify whether an overcharged AC system is causing your climate control to malfunction. It’s preferable to pay for a cheap testing visit rather than attempting to resolve the problem yourself because refrigerant overcharging has a high harm potential and has many of the same symptoms as other A/C problems.
Always Hire Experienced Air Conditioning Service Professionals
Have you noticed either of the signs above? Maybe your refrigerant is overcharged. Contact us at One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating of Fort Worth, your trusted AC repair Company in Fort Worth, TX.