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  • Writer's pictureJosh Burrus

How to Know If Your Central Air Needs Freon: A Homeowner's Guide

an AC unit with FREON text lower left

As a homeowner, ensuring your central air conditioning system runs efficiently during those sweltering summer months is paramount. One term you might frequently hear in conversations about AC maintenance is "Freon." But how do you know if your central air needs Freon, and why is it so important? This guide will help you understand the signs and steps to take when your system is low on this crucial refrigerant.

What is Freon?

Freon is actually a brand name for a type of refrigerant widely used in air conditioning systems. It helps in cooling your home by absorbing heat from the indoor air and releasing it outside. Over time, your AC system might lose this refrigerant due to leaks or other issues, diminishing its cooling efficiency.

Signs Your Central Air Might Need Freon

1. Inefficient Cooling

One of the most common signs that your AC system may be low on Freon is inefficient cooling. If your home isn’t reaching the desired temperature or the air coming from the vents isn't as cold as it used to be, it could be an indication of low Freon levels.

2. Increased Energy Bills

A sudden spike in your energy bills is another sign that your AC might require more Freon. When the refrigerant levels are low, your system works harder to cool your home, consuming more energy in the process.

3. Hissing or Bubbling Sounds

If you hear unusual sounds such as hissing or bubbling coming from your AC unit, it's often a sign of a refrigerant leak. These noises suggest that Freon is escaping from your system, which will need to be addressed promptly.

4. Ice Build-Up on the Evaporator Coil

When Freon levels are low, the evaporator coil in your AC system can start to freeze up, leading to ice build-up. If you notice ice on the coils or any other part of your unit, it’s time to check the refrigerant levels.

5. Longer Cooling Cycles

If your AC unit is running longer than usual to achieve the set temperature, it might be due to a lack of sufficient refrigerant. This extended operation not only stresses your system but also escalates your energy costs.

How to Check for Low Freon

1. Visual Inspection

You can start with a visual inspection of your AC unit. Look for any signs of ice build-up on the evaporator coil or other parts of the unit. Also, check for oily residue around the refrigerant lines, as this can indicate a leak.

2. Listen for Unusual Noises

Pay attention to any hissing or bubbling sounds coming from your AC unit. These noises usually indicate a refrigerant leak, which means your system might need more Freon.

3. Measure the Temperature

Use a thermometer to measure the temperature of the air coming out of the vents. If there is a significant difference between the set temperature and the actual air temperature, it could be a sign of low Freon levels.

4. Professional Inspection

While some initial checks can be done by homeowners, it's always best to consult with a professional HVAC technician from Superior Air Services. We have the tools and expertise to diagnose and fix refrigerant issues accurately.

Steps to Take if Your AC Needs Freon

1. Schedule a Professional Service From Superior Air Services

Contact a licensed HVAC technician to inspect your system. They will check for leaks, fix any issues, and replenish the Freon levels as needed.

2. Regular Maintenance

Become a member of the Superior Air Services’ Comfort Club (add link to comfort club page) to received regular maintenance to help prevent refrigerant leaks and other common AC problems. Schedule routine check-ups to ensure your system is running efficiently. 

3. Consider Upgrading Your System

If your AC unit is old and frequently requires Freon, it might be more cost-effective in the long run to upgrade to a newer, more efficient model. Modern units use more eco-friendly refrigerants and are designed to be more energy-efficient.

Contact Superior Air Services - 918.357.2248

Knowing the signs that your central air conditioning system needs Freon can save you from discomfort and high energy bills. By staying vigilant and scheduling regular maintenance, you can ensure your home stays cool and comfortable all summer long. If you're experiencing any of the signs mentioned above, don’t hesitate to call Superior Air Services to assess and address the issue.

Stay cool and proactive, homeowners! Your comfort and peace of mind are worth it.

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