If you want to keep a fully functional AC, regular maintenance is a must. This guarantees you the best summer days without having to deal with the discomfort caused by too much heat in the house.
Checking your AC unit’s Freon levels is one important issue that needs to be addressed during routine checkups and maintenance. But do you know how to check the Freon in a home air conditioner?
You certainly should! This article looks at how to check Freon in-home AC to help you keep your home cool anytime.
But first, let’s take a look at the basics of what freon is and how it works in your AC system.
What is Freon?
In an AC, Freon simply refers to the refrigerant. It is a type of refrigerant present in most ACs, and its main purpose is to help cool the indoor air.
Freon is designed to absorb heat from indoor air and transport it to the outdoor AC unit, helping cool your indoors instantly. And it does this by drawing heat from the air, which turns it into gas and releasing this heat to the outdoor air, which helps it revert back to liquid. This process repeats itself over and over again until the air in your house is cooled to the desired thermostat setting.
If your unit doesn’t have enough Freon, this process will have hindrances. This means that the AC won’t be able to cool your house well as it can’t absorb all the heat. And that’s why you need to know how to check Freon in-home AC devices to ensure the process is optimal and the AC can effectively cool your space.
So, how do you check Freon in-home AC units? Check out these easy steps.
Best Steps How to Check Home AC Freon Level
You can check your AC’s Freon levels by following these four steps:
1. Turn on the AC
This is the first step, which is also quite straightforward. All you need to do is turn on your AC and leave it running for approximately 10 minutes. This allows the Freon to flow within the AC.
2. Turn off the Circuit Breaker
After the AC has been on for 10 minutes, turn it off. Go ahead and turn the entire system off from the circuit breaker.
This stage ensures that you’ve disconnected any electric power reaching your AC and that the fan is off.
3. Remove the Metal Lid
Here, you’ll have to unscrew any bolts or screws fastening the metal lid. By removing the lid, you get access to the electrical panel of your AC’s condensing unit.
Get the lid off the panel and set it aside.
4. Check the Level
This is the final stage on how to check the Freon in a home air conditioner. First, on your unit’s condenser coil, locate a rubber cap. It should be covering a copper tube on top of the condenser coil.
From here, you can easily see whether there is enough Freon in your AC unit or not.
Signs of Low Freon Level in your AC
How do you tell your AC’s Freon level is low? Look out for these signs:
Strange noises coming from your ACWarm or hot air, instead of cool air, from the ventsWarmer indoors despite the thermostat indicating different readingEscalating energy bills despite not changing your home’s energy consumption levelsAC tripping the breakerFrozen coils and refrigerant lines
If you notice any or some of these signs, you might be dealing with low refrigerant levels in your air conditioner.
Can Your AC Run Without Freon?
Absolutely yes! Your AC unit can run even at low or empty Freon levels.
However, it will simply be running as a mere fan, without any cooling effect. As a result, it will overwork, trying to meet the thermostat’s set temperature. And this will subsequently lead to high energy bills.
Also, while the AC will run on low or zero Freon, you’ll be putting your unit’s compressor at risk of damage. Generally, the compressor tries to maintain the Freon at the right level. However, when it gets low, it will still run but with much strain.
In essence, it’s like driving a car with low engine oil levels. This means its performance will be quite low.
Therefore, if you suspect that your AC unit is running on low Freon levels, you should ensure that this is rectified as soon as possible. This way, your AC can continue functioning optimally and prevent hasty wear and tear of some parts.
Can Refilling Freon be a DIY Project?
It certainly can be! However, you should ensure that you are quite skilled in this area or that you have proper training.
In fact, if you are not certified, based on EPA Section 608, you should avoid conducting the refill yourself. So, once you notice that your AC unit’s Freon level is low, the first step should be to call a qualified technician.
Any qualified HVAC professional will establish the reason why the Freon level has gone down and offer a permanent solution. And they will also help to refill the Freon back to the desired levels.
How to Test for Freon Leaks
Leaks are the most common cause of low Freon levels. Therefore, being able to identify when your AC unit’s refrigerant is leaking is quite important.
Remember, even if you refill the Freon without fixing the leak, it will still go down again after some time. So, use the following tips to identify Freon leaks.
Soap test – this is simple, and it involves wiping the refrigerant line or coils with soapy water. If there are any leaks, they will be noticeable since they will form bubbles.Noises – listen to your AC carefully to notice any funny noises. If your AC is producing bubbling or hissing noise, it might be a sign of a struggling AC unit due to low Freon levels.Refrigerant leak detector – using an electronic Freon leak detector is the easiest of all the methods. Use the detector to electronically identify any leaks by detecting any nitrogen traces in the air.Physical oil leakage – in most cases, Freon leaks go hand in hand with oil leaks. Simply use a white towel or cloth to detect the presence of oil on the system.
Using these steps, you’ll not only know how to check Freon in a home air conditioner, but you’ll also know how to identify where the leaks are occurring. This way, it can be easy to rectify the problem.Text edited by the guys from Facharbeit schrieben lassen.