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What Happens When Refrigerant Levels Run Low in My AC?

Eugene, OR residents know how hot and humid it can get in the summertime. And with the temperature rising higher every day, now is the time to schedule a repair or maintenance session on your air conditioning unit, to ensure that it’s functioning properly by the time warm weather hits. Most maintenance sessions include recharging the system’s refrigerant to its proper level, which helps your air conditioner run at peak efficiency. But what happens when refrigerant levels run low in your AC? How does that affect your system?

Refrigerant Makes Air Conditioning Possible

Refrigerant is used in air conditioning because it pulls heat out of the surrounding air whenever it shifts from a liquid to a gas. Your air conditioner works to facilitate just such a process. First it compresses and condenses the refrigerant, increasing its heat and pressure while keeping it in a liquid state. Then it moves the liquid refrigerant into a series of evaporator coils, where it expands back into a gas. As it does so, it cools the surrounding air, which is then blown into your home with a fan. The gaseous refrigerant then returns to the compressor and condenser to start the process anew.

Refrigerant Levels Need to Be Precise

That process requires exact levels of refrigerant to work. (The precise amount depends on your air conditioner.) When leaks or other problems leach those levels away, the entire system suffers. Frost forms on the surface of the evaporator coils, representing lost cooling potential and increasing the stress and strain on the rest of the system. If left untouched, it could result in a breakdown, as well as costing you more in monthly bills as the air conditioner expends more energy to do the same job.

If you notice frost on your air conditioner or you haven’t scheduled a maintenance check in a while, call upon Comfort Flow Heating to correct the problem with speed and professionalism!

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