Air conditioning and other HVAC systems are essential to any homeowner to maintain the proper temperature in their homes. Despite being a staple in many homes, many homeowners are not well informed on how their air conditioning systems work. People often ask questions such as "does air conditioning use gas?" If you belong to this category of people, this post will answer your question in detail.
To begin with, the simple answer to the question is "yes." This is because air conditioning uses gas to function in addition to whatever power system it uses. The gas in your air conditioning is popularly known as a refrigerant. Therefore, an air conditioner needs gas to function. We have written this post to help you understand how air conditioning uses gas.
Why Does Air Conditioning Use Gas?
Traditional air conditioning uses electricity as a power source. Still, it also needs the gas stored within the system to function properly. This gas passes through the various parts of the air conditioner until it reaches the room, where it sucks out the heat and replaces it with cool air. So essentially, gas is necessary for an air conditioner to function.
As important as gas is to the functionality of the air conditioning system, you do not have to refill or change it often. Most air conditioning systems have enough gas to last decades. However, we have instances whereby air conditioning gas reduces below the limit and affects the system's functionality. Then, you will have to refill the gas.
Let's start by knowing the causes and signs of low gas in air conditioning.
Causes of Low Gas in Air Conditioning
A significant reduction in the gas level of air conditioning can only be caused by a few factors. We have explained some of them below.
Brand of Air Conditioner Purchased
There are many brands of air conditioning systems in the market, and different brands offer varying degrees of warranties. The warranties in air conditioning usually cover gas for more than a decade. While the price of air conditioning is not directly connected to the quality, it is close. So if you buy a cheap brand, you may discover, after only five years, that you have to refill the gas and fix troubles with the air conditioner.
For most people, their air conditioner has a low gas level because they do not take proper care of the system. Unfortunately, when you do not maintain your air conditioning properly, it can lead to errors such as leakages. This will invariably lead to a waste of gas and, inevitably, money.
Other occurrences can cause an air conditioning gas level to dip drastically. Some of these situations are preventable, while others are not. If you can prevent it, kindly do so. It will save you some money and stress. Later in this post, we have enumerated some tips to maintain the gas in your air conditioning. For now, let's see some signs of low gas in air conditioning.
Signs of Low Gas in Air Conditioning
If you notice any of the points discussed in this section, the gas in your air conditioning is likely low. These are some of the anomalies to look out for.
When your air conditioning runs all day without cooling the space, it is the first major sign that your air conditioning is low on gas. To know this, you need to be aware of the changes in the temperature.
Low Ice Formation on the Evaporator Coil
When the gas in your air conditioning is low, one of the most obvious signs is that a thin layer of ice will form on the evaporator coil. This can also happen on the discharge pipe. The next thing to do is call an expert to check the system and refill the gas.
Low Input Current Value
The whole process of air conditioning cooling space is dependent on the refrigerant passing through different parts of the system. As it passes through the compressor to the condenser, then to the evaporator, it changes form until it reaches the form it takes to disperse cool air in the room.
Therefore, when the gas is low, you will notice a low current value from the indoor unit. It is a sign that something is wrong with the system; likely, the gas is lower than expected.
Hissing or Bubbling Sound
If you notice a persistent hissing or bubbling sound from your air conditioner, it may be a sign that the gas level is low. What you need to do is call an expert to take a look. If it was discovered to be low gas, you could pay a little to have the serviceman refill it to functional limits.
Desired Room Temperature is Never Attained
Another sign to know your air conditioning is low on gas is when you do not get the temperature you desire. The temperature continues to be unsatisfactory no matter how much you reduce it.
Increased Electricity Bills
Many people notice a sharp increase in their electricity bill, and they cannot trace it to any particular appliance in the building. However, suppose you notice that your electricity bill suddenly jumps high, you might want to check your air conditioning to ensure that the gas level is still within the limit. If the gas in your air conditioner is low, it will force the system to work harder to achieve desired results.
The overall effect of this is a strain on the system, which causes it to consume more power from the electricity source. Reports from the California Energy Commission show that 44 percent of the money Californians spend on utilities is for heating and cooling. This figure is representative of the amount spent on heating across the nation.
Maintenance Tips for Air Conditioning Gas
If you are looking to save money on fixing troubles with your air conditioning, there are some precautions you should take. These precautions will allow you to enjoy using your air conditioning for a long time without stress. Here are some of them.
Choose an Air Conditioning System from a Reputable Brand
There are several brands of air conditioning out there, and they differ according to price and features. The essential features are mostly similar, but secondary features distinguish the top brands from the average ones. Therefore, if you want your air conditioning gas to last as much as possible and other parts of the air conditioner, it is better to buy a good product from the onset.
Air conditioning systems from top brands last decades, and you may never have to refill the gas throughout use. Unlike these brands' 10 to 15 years warranties, unknown brands offer between 5 to 7 years warranties. The effect of this difference is that buying a good air conditioner from the onset will save you a great deal of stress.
Place the Outdoor Unit in a Shaded Environment
When you place your condenser in a sunny place, the heat defrosts the refrigerant, making it change form without being in use. It also affects the durability of the physical parts of the unit, which are exposed to the elements. By placing the unit in a shaded place, you can preserve the lifespan of your air conditioning, especially the refrigerant.
Cover the Outdoor Unit to Protect from Debris
Cover the outdoor unit of your air conditioning system to protect it from debris and other forms of dirt. These particles can stick to the body of the condenser and affect the functioning of the system. This tip is very important during the winter when the air conditioner is rarely used and can attract many stains.
Ensure that Your Condenser is in Top Shape
The condenser is one of the three main components of air conditioning. If the condenser of your air conditioning develops a fault, it will affect the whole system's functionality. Also, when the condenser is faulty, it forces the system to overwork itself, which burns more gas.
Schedule Occasional Maintenance Visits
To prevent a major trouble that will cost you more than you can afford, you should sign up for occasional maintenance visits from a credible company. For example, suppose your home or office is around Florida, you can reach out to Erica Plumbing and Restoration to help you with all questions and services related to air conditioning gas.
These tips are not all there is to maintaining your air conditioning gas but they will go a long way in preventing you from spending some valuable dollars on it. If properly maintained, your air conditioning unit can maintain its gas for about 10 to 15 years before refilling or changing. You can also visit our blog to learn more about how to maintain an air conditioner.
How to Check the Level of Your Air Conditioning Gas
There are two ways in which you can check the level of your air conditioning gas. The first is to do occasional checks by yourself, and the second is to hire professionals to do it for you. We have explained what each entails for you.
You can check the gas level in your air conditioning if you know what to look out for. Start by checking the outdoor unit for any sign of leakage or corrosion. If you can notice anything out of place, you will know whether it is something you can fix or call an expert to do properly.
Hiring an Expert
When you suspect that the gas in your air conditioning might be low, you can check it out by yourself if you know what to look for. However, if you know little or nothing about HVAC systems, it is better to hire an expert.
Reach Out to Us
After reading this post, you must have realized that air conditioning uses gas but not in the way most people know. Having this basic knowledge about how air conditioning uses gas will help you better understand your HVAC systems.
You’ve also learned that it’s crucial to call experts when your air conditioning shows any signs of a malfunction. If you are looking for a team of experts in HVAC systems and related works, call Erica's Plumbing and Restoration.