Tell-Tale Signs of An Overcharged Air Conditioner

image of an hvac contractor examining ac unit refrigerant levels

Overcharged cooling systems are quite problematic since an air conditioner requires a specific amount of coolant. Processing excess amounts of refrigerant can damage the air conditioner. So, stick to the ideal parameters to prevent issues and extend equipment lifespan. Read on to learn about overcharged AC symptoms and any associated issues with this problem.

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Tell-Tale Signs of An Overcharged Air Conditioner

The refrigerant is the air conditioner’s lifeblood. It carries the heat from your home and releases it outside, so the indoor temperature gradually reduces with each cycle. It may be tempting to add more coolant to ensure faster cooling. However, this can backfire if the quantity goes over what the air conditioner is designed to handle.

That being said, a certified and experienced HVAC contractor should handle dangerous substances like refrigerant. Still, it isn’t uncommon for amateur HVAC technicians to make mistakes when charging the refrigerant in an AC. Homeowners should know what to look for. Here are several of the common symptoms you have an overcharged AC unit:

Soaring Energy Bills

image of a homeowner dealing with high cooling costs

You eventually get used to the energy needs of your air conditioner and its corresponding cost after using it for some time. It may fluctuate over time, but not by a lot. However, an energy bill that suddenly spikes indicates something wrong with your cooling unit. Did the jump happen after getting work done on your air conditioner? If so, your unit may have been overcharged.

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Elevated Heat Discharge

Owning an HVAC system requires regular maintenance. This includes trimming the shrubs around the outdoor unit to promote good airflow. While performing this task, check the equipment as well. It usually generates hot air, but an overworked system feels hotter than usual. Likely causes are dirty air filters, blocked blowers, and excessive refrigerant.

Frozen Air Conditioning Coils

frozen air conditioner in summer

Air conditioners can become so cold that the coils get frozen. This needs professional investigation to determine the right step to take. It can be confusing for untrained people as both extremes cause issues: low refrigerant can cause ice to form, but so does having excessive refrigerant. Calling a professional technician is the best way to determine the real source of the problem.

Noisy Air Conditioner Compressor

Compressors typically make some noise when switching the unit on or off. Owners will eventually get used to this, including the low hum the system makes while running. Something is wrong if your air conditioner suddenly makes unusual sounds like loud squeals. It could be due to the system’s excess high-pressure liquid refrigerant issues.

Sudden Cooling System Shutdown

flushed man feeling hot in front of a fan due to poor ac performance

Engineers anticipate the dangers that can happen to the air conditioner when designing it. The equipment has built-in safety switches that activate sudden system shutdowns to keep damages from occurring. An abundance of refrigerant is a situation that can harm the air conditioner and trigger this response. Hire an HVAC technician to check your system to find the cause before turning it on again.

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Uneven Air Conditioner Pressure Levels

Excessive amounts of refrigerant can cause uneven pressure levels around the cooling unit. It is one of the common signs to look out for, but most homeowners aren’t likely to know how to take measurements. Hire a technician to conduct an inspection if you think your equipment is having this problem. This way, you can objectively get a conclusive answer.

How an Air Conditioner Gets Excessive Refrigerant

image of hvac contractor who is confused about air conditioner installation

Going low on refrigerant is easy to explain. It could be that your air conditioner used to have enough, but leaks slowly drained the coolant. Seal the leaks and recharge it, so your system runs normally again. If you have too much refrigerant, the issue may have begun from the following:

  • Faulty Air Conditioner Installation: It may have started at the installation. Depend on professional experts who know what they’re doing when it comes to new system installation. Their work will determine your HVAC equipment’s efficiency, longevity, and performance. Your cooling system will be riddled with issues if they put too much refrigerant in your unit.
  • Amateur Air Conditioning Repairs: Some homeowners call amateurs for system repairs to save money. The results vary since amateurs are not as knowledgeable as certified HVAC techs. Some may overcharge the system to finish repairing refrigerant leaks. Remember that the law states that only licensed professionals can handle and dispose of refrigerants.
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Effects of an Overcharged Air Conditioning Unit

image of poor efficiency of air conditioning unitHere are what can happen if you have an overcharged air conditioner:

  • Poor Air Conditioner Performance & Efficiency: An overcharged cooling system may make you unsatisfied with your system’s performance. Its cooling power will drop, which can be frustrating during the hot months that are notorious for high humidity levels. The system will also need to work harder in converting the coolant from liquid to gas and vice versa. Efficiency will significantly decrease until this problem is resolved.
  • Faulty Valves & Connecting Rods: Some of the excess liquid refrigerants may get into the cylinders in the compressor. This can result in damaged valves as they are not designed to address this issue. The connecting rods may also malfunction. Certified HVAC technicians should inspect the problem immediately, or it may worsen.
  • Air Conditioner Compressor Motor Burnout: The liquid refrigerant can also escape into the crankcase and mix with the oil. As a result, the crankcase pressure will spike. The compressor motor cannot take this stress for an extended period. The engine will gradually burn out and stop operating. When this occurs, you have no choice but to get a complete cooling system replacement.
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What a Homeowner Should Do

It is dangerous to have an air conditioner refrigerant overcharge. If you suspect your system has this problem, switch it off immediately and seek professional help from a certified HVAC technician. They will calculate the correct refrigerant level and resolve the issue. They will also apply the appropriate solutions to damaged components so the air conditioner returns to normal operations.



Don’t take shortcuts with the installation and repairs of your air conditioner. You may spend less when you hire amateurs, but their unpolished work may cause problems in the future. They tend to overcharge air conditioners, so you eventually have to call on professionals to fix the mess. Start right by calling certified technicians. This way, you enjoy stress-free ownership and avoid problems.

Call Point Bay Fuel For All Your HVAC Requirements


Point Bay Fuel provides top-quality heating and cooling services in Ocean and Monmouth Counties, New Jersey. We have the best professionally certified technicians on staff. Our knowledgeable and experienced techs can perform excellent HVAC tune-ups, repairs, installations, and replacements. Rest assured, our skilled technicians can service your HVAC system correctly.

For the most competitive HVAC service costs in Ocean and Monmouth Counties, New Jersey, call Point Bay Fuel. Our tune-up services can help you achieve enhanced energy efficiency, comfort, and indoor air quality while reducing your cooling bills. If you need an HVAC repair or replacement system, we can recommend the best one for your home within your budget. Your satisfaction is our priority, so all our work is guaranteed. Contact Point Bay Fuel to schedule a service appointment. Call now for an in-home estimate.

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