Freon is the name given to a particular type of refrigerant that was used prior to this year. If you have a system that still uses Freon, then it’s time to start considering a replacement. First off, this means that your air conditioner is on the older side, and well cared for cooling systems are designed to last about 10-15 years. Secondly, Freon is bad for the environment.
The type of refrigerant used in AC systems today is more environmentally friendly, and absolutely necessary for the functionality of your cooling system. It’s the component that actually allows the cooling system to cool. But, you could have a refrigerant leak, and when your air conditioner is low on refrigerant, it can experience a number of problems.
How Do You Know If Your AC System Needs More Refrigerant?
There are a number of signs that indicated that your system needs a refrigerant recharge (refill). For instance, you may need more refrigerant if:
- Your cooling system is always running but won’t cool your home.
- Your vents are blowing warm air.
- Your utility bills are higher than average for this time of year.
- You notice a buildup of ice on the refrigerant line or anywhere on the AC system.
- You hear hissing or bubbling coming from the system.
Are There Other Reasons Your AC Might Blow Warm Air?
Yes! A refrigerant leak is the most common culprit of an air conditioner blowing out warm air, but there are other things that can cause this too. One thing is for sure—it’s definitely a problem you want to be fixed right away, right?
The first thing you should do when you feel warm air coming from the vents is check your thermostat. Are you sure it’s in cooling mode? Someone might have unintentionally switched it to fan-only mode, which means it will recirculate warmer and warmer air through the home. You may have also accidentally switched your heat pump over to heating mode. In either case, this is an easy fix for the homeowner themselves.
The next thing you should check is if your outdoor unit is actually running when you feel that warm air. Your indoor unit and outdoor unit may be running on separate circuits, and a tripped breaker could leave one operational while the other one doesn’t cycle on. As a result, the refrigerant process can’t happen and your air conditioner won’t actually cool your home.
One last possibility is that you might have damaged air ducts. If your ductwork is leaking, then it could be pulling in warm air from spots like your attic or behind your walls and then distributing that warm air throughout the home. Damaged ductwork can also cause cooled air to leak out. In fact, ductwork with tears in it can lose up to 30% of your conditioned air. That’s air that you’re otherwise paying for, so not only is this problem hurting your comfort, but it’s hurting your wallet, too.