home ac compressor running but won't take freon

Home AC Compressor Running But Won’t Take Freon? [Explained]

Your AC unit is running in low freon. Instead of giving a cool breeze, it’s working to emit a warm breeze. 

The first solution that would come to mind would be refilling your AC with freon. What if you can not solve the issue in that manner?

What if the home ac compressor running but won’t take freon?

Your home ac compressor may be running but won’t take freon when there’s a leak. A freon blockage can also cause your compressor to run yet refuse to take more freon. To fix this you need to first fix the leak in your system. After that, you need to clean out the expansion valve for it. 

That was only the tip of the iceberg. If you wish to know more about the topic then keep reading till the end.

Let’s begin!

Why Isn’t My AC Taking Freon?

Your AC not taking in freon can be a big problem. But what is freon in ac?

Freon in ac is a very important component in your air conditioner. It determines the optimal performance of an air conditioner. It’s a non-combustible gas that is used as a coolant in AC units.

Every air conditioner unit requires a coolant or refrigerant. Its role is to make cool air by drawing warm air from the indoors. The heated air cools down as it runs through the air conditioner coil unit

As the air cools down it turns into a high-pressure fluid. The heat gets absorbed by the coolant. Later the coolant returns to its gas form and continues the cycle. 

Through all the years you’re using your ac, there’s no need to refill them. Also, you can’t interchange freons. But if you need to refill freon in ac unit then something is wrong. 

It could be because an internal component is damaged. Or it was improperly installed. Another and most common reason is the freon leak.

refill freon in ac unit
Source: learn.compactappliance.com

If the installation wasn’t right the problem will be detectable early on. But in a fully functional instalment freon will be needed only if there’s a leak.

If it’s getting leaked you’d need to refill it. But if the AC doesn’t take freon then there might be a freon blockage inside. To remove the blockage, the orifice tube or the expansion valve has to be cleaned.

However, even if you refill the refrigerant it won’t last long before the next refill. Clearly, all the freon that you’re using up is getting wasted.

What Causes Freon Leaks In Air Conditioners?

Freon leak happens when your AC unit gets damaged. The damage can be of any sort. But the most common reason is the erosion of the metal.

The culprit is mostly formaldehyde corrosion or formic acid. Cracks and small holes get created as the acid keeps eroding the metal. As a result, freon starts leaking.

Another cause of freon leaks is manufacturing defects. Even a brand new AC unit can be defective. If yours is such a case, never mind repairing your AC.

Instead, get in touch with the manufacturer and use their technician to solve the problem. Otherwise, your warranty might get void.

How to Tell If There Is a Freon Leak?

Most of the time it takes longer to figure out what the actual issue is. Your AC unit blowing warm air is not an effective symbol to determine freon leak.

You’d need a couple of more signs that can indicate the problem. If the following scenarios seem relatable then it’s a freon leak issue.

  • AC isn’t blowing cold air
  • A puddle of fluid near the AC unit
  • The AC unit makes a bubbling or hissing sound
  • Heated air comes from the vent
  • Electric bill skyrockets
  • Frozen evaporator coil

One of the easiest ways to check for freon leaks is to get a good-quality freon detector. This would accurately tell you whether your freon is leaking or not. Here are some hypersensitive freon leak detectors that HVAC professionals use:

Having a freon leak in the AC unit is a serious issue. A large amount of freon leakage can lead to freon poisoning. The dangers of freon leaks shouldn’t be overlooked. 

So, better think about how to deal with this issue.

How to Fix Freon Leak In Air Conditioner?

There are a few solutions to the home AC unit freon leak problem. Let’s go through them one by one.

Adding More Freon

If the freon is leaking naturally your AC will run on low refrigerant. To solve this problem you can refill the freon in your AC unit. But this must be done by HVAC specialists.

They will take a reading on the freon level that’s left in your AC unit. They’ll do the calculation of how much freon will be needed to be refilled. So, the system works perfectly again.

Freon doesn’t cost much. So, it’s a pretty doable solution. But definitely not the best option. Refilling freon is only a temporary solution. Since the freon is leaking it’ll run out of coolant again.

Also, the cost of refilling freon repeatedly will cross the amount for fixing. So, let’s see some real solutions to this problem.

Repair the Cracked Hole

Repairing the cause of the leakage will solve your problem for good. But first, you’ve to find the cracks in the coolant line to repair them. Before, it was extremely hard to find the cracks manually.

Repair the Cracked Hole
Source: tthme.com

But now, with expert HVAC professionals and improved equipment, finding refrigerant leaks has gotten easier. It has also become cheaper since the process has gotten easier.

In most cases, if the holes or leaks are smaller in size they are redeemable. But if the crack is bigger and more in number they’re mostly beyond saving.

Replacing the AC Coil

If your AC is in much poor condition then replacing is the first choice. The technician might suggest you replace the entire coil set.

If the cracks are bigger, replacing them would be the wisest decision. This happens when the AC unit’s equipment is disclosed to contamination. 

Also if the coils remain uncleaned for a long time, it goes bad. It affects the AC Condenser and coil Compatibility. While replacing the whole AC coil is an expensive option it is the safest way.

There are chances of leakage even when you repair them. But with the new replacement, there won’t be a repetition of further leaking. Plus the AC unit’s performance would be much better.

Hopefully, now you know what to do with your AC unit freon leak problem.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

To know more regarding today’s topic on refrigerant and ac compressors here are a few handpicked questions-

Why isn’t my house cooling when the AC is running?

AC running yet failing to cool your house could be because of a clogged coil. Unfortunately, the AC unit is exposed to various contamination, dirt, and debris. These make their way inside the AC coil and block it. An AC with a clogged coil will malfunction and won’t perform well.

How to tell if my home AC compressor is faulty?

A faulty AC compressor will make screeching/growling/clattering noise. It happens due to electrical malfunctioning in the compressor unit. Additionally, there could be a problem with the circuit breaker. You might find it hard to start the AC. it might run on low airflow or stop blowing cool air. 

Is fixing the freon leak worth it?

If your AC unit is less than 10 years old then yes. It should still have some good years left in it. But make sure to give it a thorough inspection by a professional first. Because it solely depends on the condition of your AC unit.

Final Words

Now you know why the home ac compressor running but won’t take freon. It’s indeed a worrisome issue but don’t ever neglect it. Since it can cause health problems.

Also, always call an HVAC professional to deal with such complex issues. Solving these problems is not in the DIY range.

Stay healthy, stay safe!

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