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One of the most common operational issues that air conditioners have to face is the leakage that allows the freon or the refrigerator to escape out of the AC unit.
You can say that almost all the job done by an air conditioner is the result of freon. It is a heat transference fluid that help an air conditioning unit to absorb heat from inside of the room, cool it down, and then exhaust the heat through the outdoor unit.
You may have heard about the term AC’s charge used in air conditioners, this is the exact set level of freon in your unit. This level should always remain the same and can never be decreased until it has to deal with some sort of leakage. Will the AC compressor turn ON without freon or when the level is lower than the required limit?
The simple and short answer to these questions is that your air conditioner will definitely run and will keep on working even if its freon level is relatively low but the recommendation is that you should never ever do this. If you have felt or suspect that your air conditioner is leaking frequently due to any reason, you should immediately turn your air conditioner OFF as a safety precaution. Call for a professional and experienced HVAC engineer so that he can help you out. This issue will only require an HVAC technician that can stop the leakage and refill your AC unit with a freon or refrigerator.
Why should an AC not be turned ON without freon?
An air conditioner can easily operate at low temperatures with less freon or refrigerant. But in this case, you should never turn your AC ON because it can lead your air conditioner to major damages, issues, or may even result in the complete breakdown of your unit.
You can say that freon is just like human blood, people can keep on working with low levels of blood but it will definitely result in some issues or may even lead you to death, same goes for air conditioners without freon.
Manufacturers design their air conditioner with a simple aim in mind that their product should work the best. To achieve their goal, they set a specific level of freon for their air conditioner so that an AC can provide the best cooling atmosphere. If this specific level falls even a little bit, it can disturb the total function of the air conditioner and affects its performance.
Having less freon will limit the amount of heat that can be absorbed by the air conditioner using the evaporator coil, this factor will cause the coil to freeze over very often. Once the coil will be frozen, its capacity to absorb heat will decrease rapidly. This will not only cause the air conditioner to stop cooling the atmosphere but it may also stop working entirely.
How to tell if there is less freon in an air conditioner?
You may want to get this factor tested for your air conditioner but the question that comes to mind is how to check if the air conditioner has a lower freon than required. Well, there are many signs and factors that can give you a clear idea about the level of freon in your AC. All you need is to pay close attention so that you don’t miss one.
- Sudden Increase in Electricity Bill
- Low Performance in Terms of Cooling
- Layers of Ice on your AC’s Outside Unit
Sudden Increase in Electricity Bill
One thing is to confirm that if your air conditioner is running on a low level of freon, it will definitely have to work hard. If the unit will not be able to absorb heat to its full capacity, the air conditioner will usually take much longer and will struggle more to keep the temperature stable.
This factor will affect in many terms but one thing that can be badly affected is your power bill. Some people even say that the electricity bill can suddenly increase to double the normal range.
Low Performance in Terms of Cooling
What happens when air conditioner runs out of freon? Almost all the cooling mechanisms are considered to fail if there is no freon in your air conditioner unit. It clearly means that the temperature in your room will not be comfortable. The coils absorb heat and convert it into cooling but if coils are not able to absorb heat, the cooling cannot be produced.
Air conditioner experts and manufacturers claim that if an air conditioner is not providing enough cooling, this will result in low freon almost every time. So, if you are experiencing such effects, it is highly recommended to get the services of a professional HVAC engineer and get it refilled before it causes major issues.
Layers of Ice on your AC’s Outside Unit
Check your air conditioner’s outside unit because ice can easily form if there is a lack of freon. This can happen in almost all kinds of weather conditions and seasons. This layering of ice can cause your energy to waste a lot that will eventually lead to major issues. Other than that, the icing can cause your unit to show malfunction or may even be a complete failure.
What to do when your ac unit freezes up? If you notice icing on your outside unit of air conditioner, immediately turn your unit OFF, call for a professional HVAC engineer and get your unit tested properly. Although this issue can occur due to various reasons such as a fault in electrical wiring, blocked coil, dirty air filter, low amount of freon is the most common issue behind this problem.
The Bottom Line:
In a nutshell, an air conditioner compressor can definitely run without freon but it will never bring you positive results. Turning ON your AC unit should be avoided completely if you feel there is a leakage of the freon level. This will not only allow you to get your unit fixed as soon as possible but will prevent you from major issues and expenses as well.