Signs That You Have Overcharged Your AC Unit

10 October 2016
 Categories: , Articles


If you have a central air conditioning system that has a pinhole leak, then you may decide to recharge the system occasionally to help retain consistent pressure throughout the system. However, if you decide to continually add refrigerant, then you may inadvertently overcharge the system. If this happens, then it is wise to contact an HVAC professional immediately to complete a controlled discharge, a leak assessment, and possibly a leak repair. Before you do this, look for signs that you have overcharged the unit.

Increased Heat Discharge

If you happen to overcharge or add too much refrigerant to your air-conditioning system, then you will disrupt the entire function of the device. Your AC system relies on pressure changes to move heat. The coolant is placed under pressure as it is forced through a compressor pump. As the refrigerant turns into gas and moves through the evaporator coil, heat is taken in by the gas. The heated refrigerant then turns into a liquid and releases heat. 

If there is too much refrigerant in the system, though, then the coolant will be under pressure at all times. The refrigerant will then be unable to return to a liquid form until it moves fairly far through the condenser coil. When the refrigerant does turn to liquid, it will release accumulated heat quickly instead of more gradually like it should. When this happens, you may feel a blast of hot air coming out of the top of the outdoor condenser. You will be able to feel this heat when the condenser is on and the upper fan moves air through the system.

If you feel hot air, then this is a sign that the condenser coil is being placed under a great deal of stress. This stress can cause the coil to form even more leaks and contribute to your overall leaking issue. In many cases, an AC coil that has formed one or several holes will need to be replaced. AC coils contain a variety of small copper tubes that are attached or adhered to the aluminum fins that sit on the outside of the unit. Repairs are often not possible based on the way the coil is designed.

Super-Cooled Home

Most air conditioners will go through a cycle during which they turn on for a short period of time and then turn off. When the AC unit cycles on and your home only needs to be cooled a few degrees, then you may see that the reading on your thermostat notes a colder temperature than the one you set on the thermostat. This is normal because the AC unit will continue to cool until it goes through a complete cycle. Air conditioners are typically made to retain temperatures in the home that are several degrees lower or higher than thermostat settings. This helps to keep a balance between comfort and AC efficiency.

If you notice that the temperature in your home is more than a few degrees colder than it should be, then this is a sign that the coolant is under a great deal of pressure and taking more heat out of the air than it normally does. While this may seem like a good thing, you are likely to notice some fairly significant temperature fluctuations, and this can reduce your comfort in your home.

While your AC unit may not turn on as often, you are likely to feel uncomfortable. Also, certain parts in the air conditioner will be placed under a great deal of stress. This is true of the compressor pump. While the pump will not have to work as long as it did, the pressure of the coolant inside the part will be much higher. This can cause cracks to form in the casing, and leaks may also form around the seals of the device. A pump repair or replacement may then be needed. 

Talk to a company such as MD AIR Heating and Cooling, LLC for more information.