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How do I know if I have low refrigerant levels?

Updated: 7 days ago

Refrigerant is one of the most important components of your air conditioning system and is responsible for cooling the air that circulates in your home. When refrigerant levels are low, your AC system can't work effectively, which can lead to a range of problems, including reduced cooling capacity, higher energy bills, and unexpected, costly system breakdowns.

refrigerate levels are very important to help keep machine running smoothly
Technician checking temperatures on reach-in cooler

What is Refrigerant?

Refrigerant is a chemical compound that absorbs heat from the air in your home and carries it outside, where it releases the heat it’s collected from the home. It’s used in air conditioning systems to cool the air that circulates in your home. The most common types of refrigerant used in AC systems are R-22 and R-410A.

How do I know if my refrigerant levels are low?

There are several signs that your AC system may have low refrigerant levels, which include:

Reduced cooling capacity: One of the most common signs of low refrigerant levels is reduced cooling capacity. If your AC system isn't cooling your home as effectively as it used to, it may be a sign that it's low on refrigerant.

Higher energy bills: When refrigerant levels are low, your AC system has to work harder to cool your home, which can result in higher energy bills, as your system uses more energy to achieve the same level of cooling.

Frozen evaporator coils: When refrigerant levels are low, the evaporator coils can become too cold and freeze up completely. This can cause your AC system to stop working altogether, as the frozen coils can't absorb heat from the air.

Hissing/bubbling noises: If you hear hissing or bubbling noises coming from your AC system, it may be a sign of a refrigerant leak. The refrigerant can leak out of the system and cause hissing sounds as it escapes. Of course, if there is a leak, this means that consequently, your refrigerant levels are now probably low.

Warm air blowing from vents: If warm air is blowing instead of cool air, it could be a sign of low refrigerant levels. Without enough refrigerant, your AC system can't cool the air effectively, resulting in warm air blowing from the vents.

What should I do if I think my refrigerant levels are low?

If you suspect that your AC system has low refrigerant levels, it's important to take action right away because it can cause serious damage to your AC system and can be harmful to the environment. Here's what you should do:

Call a pro: The first step is to call a professional HVAC technician! We will diagnose the problem and determine if low refrigerant levels are to blame. Additionally, we will also be able to check for any refrigerant leaks and repair them if it turns out to be the case.

Avoid DIY fixes: It's important to avoid trying to fix the problem yourself. Adding refrigerant to your AC system is not a DIY job, and can be very dangerous if done incorrectly. It's also illegal to handle refrigerant without the proper certification.

Schedule regular maintenance: To prevent low refrigerant levels in the future, it's important to schedule regular maintenance for your AC system. Have one of our technicians check the refrigerant levels and make sure everything is working as it should.

Consider upgrading: If your AC system is old and outdated, it may be time to consider upgrading to a newer, more efficient model. Newer AC systems use less refrigerant and are more environmentally friendly, so they can be a better choice in the long run.

The bottom line

Low refrigerant levels can cause serious problems for your AC system and should be addressed ASAP! If you suspect that your AC system has low refrigerant levels, call a professional to diagnose and repair the problem. Additionally, scheduling regular maintenance and upgrading your AC system can help prevent low refrigerant levels in the future.

Call us

You and your equipment’s health and efficiency are important to us. Maintaining your HVAC system saves you headaches and cash, and putting your unit on a regular schedule with us here at Tri-Point can help ensure that you, your home, and your family stay comfortable. Please, don’t hesitate in giving us a call here at Tri-Point Refrigeration. We’re happy to hear from you and are excited to help you along the way.

For a direct line to any of our employees ready on the line to help you, please call…(512) 651-4565 for our Austin, Texas community (806) 686-0050 for our Lubbock, Texas community. Or check out our website at

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