If you have central air conditioning, it is easy to keep a house cool during the summer if the system is running properly. For the system to run properly and efficiently, though, it must have enough coolant in it. When a system loses coolant, it can begin running less efficiently and having trouble cooling a house. If your system is not running well, there is a chance that the problem lies within the coolant level. Here are some of the signs that can indicate that the coolant level is low.
Your house is not cooling down enough, yet the system is running a lot.
The most common sign people notice when the coolant level is low is problems with the system cooling the house. They may hear the AC system running all the time and rarely shutting down, yet the temperature in the house stays warm. When this happens, you might feel the air that is coming from the vents in your house to see if it is warm or cool. If it is warm, there is likely a problem with the coolant level. If you let this go too long, you will start seeing a drastic increase in your electric bills, and you will never have a house that is cool enough for your needs, as the system will not be able to cool your house if there is not enough coolant present.
You can see ice on the outdoor condenser.
A central AC system has two main components. One of these is indoors and the other is outside, and the outside part of the system is called a condenser. The outside part of the system helps extract heat from the air and expel it outdoors, but this process can easily be disrupted when there is not enough coolant in the system. When there is ice present on this part of the system, it is because the coils cannot cool down when there is not enough coolant in the system.
You can hear a hissing sound from the system.
One other sign to look for is a hissing sound coming from the system. This hissing sound is typically most noticeable when there is a large leak in a prominent area, but you might hear it even with a small leak if you listen closely with your ear near the refrigerant line of the system. This sound is a result of air and coolant leaking from a hole in the line somewhere.
If you suspect that your system is low on coolant, you should contact an HVAC company. They can test the coolant level, find the leak, and replenish the system with more coolant, and this will get your system up and running properly once again.