How Often Do You Need to Add Freon to a Central Air Conditioning Unit?

Freon is necessary to the safe and efficient functioning of an air conditioner. Here's how often you need to add freon to the unit.


Have you asked yourself these questions in the past 18 months:


Are you having problems with your home air conditioning system?

Is your electric bill sky-high, even though your home is still uncomfortably hot?

Is the air coming from the air vents warmer than the setting on the thermostat?


If you are experiencing these issues, then it could be that your air conditioning system needs recharging.


Recharging an air conditioning system means adding and rebalancing a new refrigerant to it.


Refrigerant is necessary to allow the evaporator coil to remove heat from the air. When the system runs low on refrigerant, also known as freon, the fan continues to drive air around your home but the unit cannot effectively cool the air.


How Often Do You Need to Add Freon to a Central Air Conditioning Unit?

There is no single answer to the question of how often to recharge home AC systems. In theory, recharging should never be necessary.


Air conditioning systems are sealed, which means that the amount of freon in the system should remain constant. In practice, leaks can deplete the level of freon, leading to the unit needing to be recharged.


Freon is a dangerous chemical that can cause harm to your lungs if you breathe in its vapors. For this reason, you should never try to check the freon level of your air conditioning unit yourself.


Instead, call a reputable HVAC company so that a licensed technician can check the freon levels for you. The technician can identify why the freon level is too low and let you know what repair work needs to be done to fix the fault with the unit.


Signs You Need to Add Freon to Your Air Conditioning System

  • Home is too hot despite AC always running. If your AC is always working hard but never making your home any cooler, then it is likely that it is low on freon.

  • High electricity bills. When your AC is low on freon, the unit runs and runs, trying unsuccessfully to cool your home. This behavior uses a lot of electricity, using to high bills.

  • Warm air coming from vents. You can test whether your air conditioning system needs professional attention simply by placing your hand in front of the vent. If the air blowing out is warm, despite your thermostat being set low, then lack of freon is a possible cause.

  • Ice on refrigerant line. Look out for ice forming on the refrigerant line. This is a tell-tale sign that the air conditioner needs to be recharged.

  • Hissing or bubbling refrigerant line. You can also listen to your refrigerant line: if it is making a bubbling or hissing sound, then you should hire an HVAC service to recharge the air conditioner.


Deluxe Plumbing and Heating can check the amount of freon in your air conditioning system, add more if necessary, and resolve any issues that are causing the level to drop. Simply give us a call today!