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April 30, 2023

What Happens if You Overcharge Your AC?

Does your AC need a refrigerant refill? Call today to schedule repairs or maintenance for your air conditioner with the experts at Complete Comfort.

You want your air conditioning to have ample refrigerant to cool your home, but having too much refrigerant can lead to other problems. Achieving the right balance takes care and attention.

If you wonder what happens if you overcharge your AC, our team of experts at Complete Comfort can answer your questions and help you solve any issues you may experience with your unit. We offer the #1 air conditioner repair in Greenwood, IN, and work to provide the proper care and charge for your unit.

What Does It Mean to Overcharge Your AC Unit?

Overcharging your AC unit refers to the level of refrigerant in your cooling system. Your AC needs refrigerant — a super-chilled liquid that converts to gas and draws heat out of the air. But loading the unit with too much refrigerant can damage the unit or cause it to malfunction. 

Checking the refrigerant charge regularly and scheduling routine service for your unit ensures the proper levels, prevents further damage, and reduces the frequency of repairs.

Monitoring Refrigerant Levels

The amount of refrigerant necessary for your system varies depending on its size, usage, and efficiency. Miscalculating the amount of refrigerant you need and supplying too much can cause the unit to experience increased pressure, blockages, and malfunctions.

Having a professional calculate and fill your refrigerant as necessary provides the best way to prevent overfilling and overcharging. An HVAC expert can identify how much refrigerant your AC needs and add or remove the coolant liquid to reach that level to ensure smooth operation and increase the lifespan of your equipment.

Issues With Overcharging Your AC

Overcharging your air conditioning with refrigerant negatively impacts the function and integrity of your system. The most common issues that occur from overcharging the AC include:

  • Refrigerant leaks: If you see a greasy film on your unit, it typically signals a leak within the refrigerant line and may indicate high refrigerant levels or overcharging. Refrigerant is toxic, so call an AC repair technician immediately to patch the leak.
  • Reduced cooling power: The refrigerant cools down the air that blows through your vents. Improper refrigerant levels reduce the unit’s cooling abilities.
  • Thermostat malfunctions: A defective thermostat can also occur as a result of low refrigerant. If your AC can’t reach the temperature you set, you can suspect and address overcharge issues.

Signs of AC Refrigerant Overcharging

So, what happens if you overcharge your AC unit, and how do you know if it has too much refrigerant? Typically, the system shows a few common signs of overcharging. Here are some things to look for if you suspect your system has excess refrigerant:

  • Frost: Seeing frost on any of the components in your AC unit indicates either a low amount of refrigerant or overcharged refrigerant. Too much refrigerant freezes the equipment, causing ice buildup.
  • Hot air from the vents: It might sound counterintuitive, but too much refrigerant can cause hot air. Hot air coming from your vents results from the unit producing excess heat during its operations. The extra power associated with an overcharged system can cause this overheating.
  • Squealing: Having too much high-pressure refrigerant in the system can cause it to force liquid refrigerant through the small openings in the compressor, which often results in a loud squealing noise.
  • Uneven pressure: You may not notice uneven pressure levels throughout the AC unit, but a professional can perform testing to determine the pressure and identify potential overcharging problems during routine maintenance or repair.
  • High energy usage: The strain overcharging places on your AC unit results in higher energy consumption, which you may notice through increases in your energy bill and usage reports. Repairing your AC or replacing it with a more energy-efficient model can help you save energy, which saves you money and can increase your eligibility for residential energy efficiency incentives.
  • Complete shutdown: In more extreme instances, overcharging your unit can cause the entire system to shut down or power off as a result of the compressor burning out.

What to Do for an Overcharged AC System

When you suspect an overcharged AC system, taking action immediately can reduce the damage and effects on your unit. Ignoring the problem can damage your compressor, waste energy, and further deteriorate your system’s components. You can take the following steps to address an overcharged system and protect your AC:

  • Turn off the power supply: To keep your AC from running with an overcharged system, begin by locating the power supply from the circuit breaker and turning it off. This keeps the unit from running with an extra charge and wearing out your coils, compressor, and vents.
  • Call a technician: Certified HVAC professionals can perform repairs to reduce the refrigerant levels in your system and return operations to normal. Schedule your service as soon as possible to get your AC operating safely.
  • Schedule maintenance: Continue to keep your AC functioning effectively and safely by scheduling an annual maintenance appointment. This allows a professional to check on the condition of your unit and address any further issues with the parts, refrigerant charge, and efficiency.

Professional Refrigerant Charging from Complete Comfort

Charging your AC unit for the summer ensures your system has the power to keep you cool all season long, but what happens if you overcharge your AC with refrigerant? In some cases, overcharging your system can cause damage, inefficient cooling, and deterioration in your AC unit.

When you need a reliable AC repair team to inspect your AC’s refrigerant level and correct overcharging or leaks, contact Complete Comfort. Our highly trained AC technicians provide expert charging to get your unit ready for the summer season and address any other common HVAC problems you encounter.

Keep your AC in the best shape possible with maintenance and repairs from Complete Comfort in Greenwood, IN, by calling us at 317-483-1818.

Author Bio:

Brittany Katterjohn

Brittany is a marketer, entrepreneur, and writer with previous business development experience in the home maintenance industry. She currently manages the marketing for Complete Comfort Heating, Air & Plumbing and has a passion for helping people by simplifying seemingly complicated topics related to home maintenance and repair.

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