How do you know if your central air needs freon

How Do You Know if Your Central Air Needs Freon?

A lot of people don’t know this, or maybe they do but don’t want to embrace the truth, but the air conditioner is one component that makes your home a comfortable place to be. With people in the modern world trying to lean towards the comfortable and convenient part of life, one of the best ways to do that is to have an air conditioner in perfect working condition. The air conditioner has become a very popular, and somewhat common appliance in every household. There is an excitement that comes with the appliances that are in production in the modern world that we live in today. Many manufacturers have committed to producing quality high-end appliances that will leave a lasting impression on people to continue to trust their brands. The demand for air conditioning units over the past few years has had a direct impact on pricing, but despite this, people have continued to heavily invest in air conditioners in all parts of the country.

With the United States regarded as the biggest appliance market in the world, it is not a surprise that sales of air conditioners have equally experienced growth in the country. Arne Holst of Statista recently released some statistics that show that the United States is the major market for household appliances in the world. According to the stats, in 2018, the market was valued at $37.6 billion which helped the United States to overtake some leading countries like South Korea, China, India, and Germany. Some of the companies that have contributed to the growth of the appliance market in the United States include GE, Electrolux, LG Electronics, Samsung, Bosch, Whirlpool, and Siemens Group to mention but a few.

Average annual expenditure on window air conditioners (owned home) per consumer unit in the United States from 2007 to 2019

The chart above shows the average yearly expenditure on domestic window air conditioners for owned homes per consumer unit in the country from 2007 to 2019. The statistic was first published by Arne Holst of Statista in 2020, and as seen in the chart above, the inconsistency in the figures annually shows just how people living in the United States love to have window air conditioners in their homes. From 2007 up until 2012, the number managed to stay between 2.3 and 3.71 (lowest and highest figures), but 2013 ushered in a new set of figures which had $4.46 appear in two consecutive years (2013 and 2014). The numbers have since fluctuated with the figure dropping to $3.65 in 2015, further dropping to $3.44 in 2016 before rising back to $4.42 in 2017. It rose to a record-breaking $4.91 in 2018 before dropping back to $4.13  in 2019.

People in the United States appreciate appliances that they can get value from, and that’s why refrigerators like refrigerators, gas ranges, dishwashers, and air conditioners have become so popular in the country. Being the biggest appliance market in the world, the United States boasts a strong market with lots of options as far as household appliances are concerned. The appreciation for modern appliances has paved the way for appliance manufacturers to put more effort into producing high-end appliances which people continue to enjoy to this day.

Number of commercial buildings using cooling equipment in the U.S. in 2012, by equipment type

This statistic was first published by Raynor de Best in November 2020, and it shows the number of commercial buildings in the United States according to the type of cooling equipment that was used in 2012. According to the statistics, the total number of commercial buildings with cooling in the country stood at 4.5 million.

It is not abnormal when AC units stop working. This may be traced down to a lot of reasons but one of the things people are most scared of is when there are symptoms of low freon in their central air conditioners. According to Moncrief Air, unlike when cars run out of gas, an air conditioner should never run out of freon because the noble gas is not supposed to escape the pipes. One of the best things to equip yourself with is how to check if your AC needs freon. There will always be air conditioner freon leak symptoms, and if you don’t pay attention to these symptoms early enough to make a move to stop the leak, you will be doing permanent damage to your air conditioner. That is not to say that every problem you encounter with your air conditioner means your AC is low on freon. Sometimes, it might be as a result of the motor not working properly, or the compressor is becoming old, but you can’t also rule out a refrigerant leak as it is also a popular reason your AC might not be functioning properly.

Factors to consider when buying an air conditioner

The air conditioner is just as important as every other appliance in the household, so when it’s time to purchase one, there are things you should put into serious consideration to avoid making the wrong purchase. You don’t want to purchase an air conditioner you won’t end up using or not be able to return because it’s way different from what you want or need in your space. A lot of people make the mistake of purchasing an air conditioner they won’t end up using, and unfortunately, if the air conditioner doesn’t come with a warranty, they will have ended up wasting a lot of money. To avoid this mistake, below are some of the factors you need to seriously consider before purchasing an air conditioner.


Firstly, you do not want to deal with a brand that will sell a product to you without assuring and reassuring you about the quality of the product. If a product comes without a warranty, you should not even consider buying it in the first place. It either means the company or outlet selling it to you is not confident in what they’re selling or they just don’t care about the aftermath. If you purchase a product without a warranty and in the first few days of using it, it begins to display symptoms of irregularities, you simply have no other choice than to call for repair, which you will have to sponsor, and that means additional cost on your end, or, if the damage is beyond repair, replace the air conditioner. You don’t ever want to find yourself in this situation, so if you’re purchasing an air conditioner, you need to be sure it comes with a warranty.


Another important factor you need to consider when purchasing a new air conditioner is your budget. We always say whenever we’re recommending products to people that the market is so big that you might get lost in it if you don’t go in with a proper idea of what you want. You need to be able to nail down your options to just a few details, and your budget is one of the most important things to put into serious consideration. While some people don’t mind how much an air conditioner costs, and will get it at all costs, some people do have a clear idea of how much they’re willing to spend on purchasing an air conditioner, and will only take something extraordinary to spend out of their budget. If you happen to fall into the latter category, you need to search for an air conditioner that is right within your budget without compromising on the quality of the air conditioner you want in your space. Being on a budget doesn’t mean you should settle for an air conditioner that won’t serve you for a long time. Thankfully, there are many budget-friendly options to choose from, and portable air conditioners don’t also cost much, yet they get the job done.

Energy efficiency

Lastly, another big factor you need to put into consideration when purchasing a new air conditioner is how energy-efficient the air conditioner is. Generally, statistics have it that newer appliances don’t consume as much energy as traditional appliances, and that’s something we’ve also noticed over the years. With this knowledge, you should always look to invest in the new generation of air conditioners as they are more energy-efficient than the older ones. Luckily for us, modern air conditioners are built to be more energy-efficient, and that’s not the only thing. They are also packed with Energy Star ratings that give consumers a heads-up about how much energy their potential air conditioner will be consuming over a period. This will tell them whether it’s worth the investment or not, because, truly, electricity bills will be hard to pay when they are being affected by irregularities in the energy consumption of many appliances around the house.

How do you know if your central air needs freon?

Freon for central air conditioner or freon for any ac unit is a big deal. There are several ways to know if your air conditioner is low on freon or the AC needs to be recharged. Think of freon as the fuel that keeps your AC running smoothly, but unlike any other fuel, the air conditioner technically never runs out of freon except there are leakages from many pipes in the unit. Once there are signs of a leakage, it means the AC needs to be recharged if it’s to continue to function properly. You will experience some signs that indicate a shortage of refrigerant in the unit, and if you don’t pay proper attention to these signs, it might cause your unit to develop a bigger issue. Some of the signs that your ac is running low on freon include;

AC blowing warm or hot air

The function of the refrigerant is to cool down the air taken in from the environment as it can change state from gas to liquid, thanks to the AC’s evaporator and condenser. One of the most obvious signs that freon is leaking from your air conditioning unit is if the AC vents are blowing warm air instead of the cool air you are already accustomed to. The lack of enough refrigerant (freon) in the unit means that the air conditioner is not allowed to absorb the heat in the air outside.

A hissing sound from the refrigerant line

It is always profitable when you pay proper attention to the things that are happening in your surroundings, especially with your appliances. If your AC is low on freon, then you should know that the refrigerant is leaking somewhere in the refrigerant line. When this is happening, the pipes will begin to make a hissing sound which usually indicates that there’s a leak somewhere. This will help you detect the leak soon enough to contact a technician to help you get it fixed permanently.

You are feeling the impact on your electricity bills

Air conditioning units are built to produce cool air. When they’re not doing so, it forces them to work twice as hard to try and make up for the lost time, and that means more bills to pay on your end. Even if you are not noticing any irregularities in the way your air conditioner is functioning, the hike in your electricity bills should hint to you that something is wrong with one of the appliances you have at home, and a good place to start is the refrigerant.

Other signs your air conditioner might be running low on freon

  • The unit is running but cool air is not produced
  • Ice is building up on the refrigerant line
  • Bubbling sound on the refrigerant line

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Where can you buy freon for central air?

When you notice the problem with your AC is the freon, you need to involve a technician as soon as possible. AC technicians always have freon and they’re your best bet when it comes to fixing the problem which also includes refilling the refrigerant in your unit so it can function properly again.

2. What is freon in an air conditioner?

Freon is a noble gas that is used to make the refrigerant needed for your air conditioner to produce cool air for your home. According to MSP, your air conditioner running low on freon means that there’s a leak somewhere. Topping it won’t make the problem go away. Instead, you should get a technician that will help you stop the leakage before topping your air conditioner with enough freon.

3. Where is the freon in an air conditioner?

The freon is found in the refrigerant line which is just right outside the air conditioning system.

4. What happens when your air conditioner runs out of freon?

When your air conditioner runs out of freon, you’ll start seeing some of the signs we listed up there. From the unit making a hissing sound to blowing out warm air, you will just notice irregularities in the way the unit operates.

5. How often does central air need freon?

Throughout the lifespan of an air conditioner, you may not need to refill its freon if there are no leaks.

6. How long does freon last in a central air unit?

If there are no leaks, freon will last throughout the air conditioning unit’s lifespan.

Wrapping up

How do you know if your central air needs freon? The answer to this question is to look out for signs. The unit will always give you enough signs that indicate something might be wrong with the unit, and if you pay enough attention, you should be able to have everything under control before something big happens to the unit. We have discussed the most common signs you can experience with your unit when it’s running low on freon, and like we pointed out earlier, an AC should not ideally run out of freon except there are leaks. The best thing to do before getting someone to help you refill the refrigerant is to have them stop the leak. If this is not done, you will realize that refilling the freon will only serve as a temporary solution to the problem and it’s only a matter of time before you start noticing these signs again.





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