Top Signs of an Overcharged Air Conditioner

The concept of “more is better” does not always hold true. Excessive quantities of anything can be just as detrimental as insufficient amounts. For example, take the case of overcharged cooling systems. The excessive burden of handling surplus refrigerant can gradually harm air conditioning units. To prevent issues and extend the lifespan of your equipment, it is crucial to follow the recommended maintenance. Continue reading to gain insight into the symptoms of overcharged AC systems and the potential hazards of the issue.

Explore Our Home Cooling Services Call To Schedule An Appointment

Signs of an Overcharged Air Conditioner

The refrigerant is a vital component in a cooling system. This part is responsible for keeping the home cool and gradually lowering the indoor temperature. Sometimes, you may be tempted to add more refrigerant for faster cooling. However, surpassing the AC’s intended capacity can lead to undesirable consequences.

Dealing with refrigerant is a hazardous task that should be left to certified and experienced HVAC technicians. It is not uncommon for inexperienced individuals to make errors when charging refrigerant in an HVAC system. Be on the lookout for the following common signs that may indicate an overcharged air conditioner:

Related Article: Best Ways To Prevent Air Conditioner Mold

Soaring Energy Costs

image of homeowner calculating energy bills and high hvac costs

You may already know the energy requirements and associated costs of operating an air conditioner. While slight fluctuations are normal, a sudden significant increase in your energy bill could indicate a problem with your AC. If this spike occurs after recent work has been done on your cooling system, your unit could have been overcharged.

Call Today: (973) 694-2777

Increased Heat Discharge

Regular maintenance of your HVAC system involves tasks like clearing foliage around the outdoor unit to ensure proper airflow. Take advantage of this opportunity to inspect your equipment. It’s normal for the unit to expel warm air. However, if you notice an exceptionally high temperature compared to usual, your system could be overworked. Potential causes of increased heat discharge include dirty air filters, clogged blowers, and an excessive amount of refrigerant.

Related Article: How Does An Air Conditioner Tune-up Save Me Money?

Frozen Air Conditioning Coils

frozen air conditioner in summer

At times, air conditioners can become so cold that the coils freeze. This situation requires expert evaluation to determine the appropriate course of action. Individuals without specialized training can find this issue challenging to overcome because both insufficient and excessive amounts of refrigerant can trigger ice formation. The most effective way to identify the root cause is to contact a professional technician.

Learn About Our Home Air Conditioning Services Call To Make An Appointment

Disruptive Air Conditioner Compressor Noise

It’s common for the compressor to generate some noise. Over time, you will become accustomed to the regular sounds it produces when turning on or off, as well as its operational hum. However, if you suddenly notice unusual noises like loud squealing, there could be a problem. The strange noise could be a result of the system struggling to handle an excessive amount of high-pressure liquid refrigerant.

Related Article: 3 Reasons Your Furnace Is Rusting

Unexpected Cooling System Shutdown

image of a homeowner feeling hot due to overcharged air conditioner

When engineers design cooling systems, they incorporate safety mechanisms to safeguard the equipment. These mechanisms include safety switches that can trigger an abrupt shutdown to prevent damage. Excessive refrigerant is one factor that can harm the air conditioner and activate this protective response. Before attempting to restart the system, contact an HVAC technician to inspect the unit and determine the exact cause.

Explore Our AC System Services Call Van Varick & Sons To Make An Appointment

Inconsistent Air Conditioner Pressure Levels

An overcharged air conditioner may exhibit uneven pressure levels around the unit. This is a significant indicator to be mindful of, although it may be challenging for typical homeowners to measure accurately. If you suspect that this is the issue affecting your equipment, call a technician to conduct an inspection. The professional will provide an objective assessment and deliver a conclusive answer.

Related Article: Should My Furnace Smell Like Heating Oil?

How Excessive Refrigerant Enters an Air Conditioner

image of a confused hvac contractor performing an hvac installation

Insufficient refrigerant is relatively straightforward to understand: your AC once had an adequate amount, but coolant leaks gradually depleted it. Resolving the leaks and recharging the system will restore it to normal operation. However, when it comes to an overabundance of refrigerant, the problem may have originated from the following sources:

  • Flawed Air Conditioner Installation: The issue could have arisen right from the start during the installation process. It is crucial hire reputable professionals with the necessary expertise to install your system. The quality of their workmanship will directly impact the performance, efficiency, and longevity of your HVAC equipment. If the team mistakenly adds an excessive amount of refrigerant during installation, your cooling system will be plagued with problems.
  • Unprofessional Air Conditioning Repairs: In an attempt to save money, some homeowners choose amateur technicians. The outcome of such repairs is unpredictable since these individuals lack the knowledge and training of certified technicians. Some of the technicians may unknowingly overcharge the system while attempting to fix refrigerant leaks. Remember, refrigerant handling and disposal is legally restricted to licensed professionals. Therefore, do not gamble by hiring an amateur team.
Learn More About Our Cooling System Services Call To Schedule An Appointment

Consequences of an Overcharged Air Conditioning Unit

  • Diminished Performance and Efficiency of Cooling Equipment: When an air conditioning unit is overcharged, it can result in unsatisfactory cooling performance. The system may struggle to effectively cool indoor spaces, especially during the summer months. The process of converting refrigerant from gas to liquid and vice versa becomes more challenging, leading to a decline in overall efficiency. Rectifying the overcharge will be necessary to restore optimal performance.
  • Potential Damage to Air Conditioner Valves and Connecting Rods: When in a liquid state, excess refrigerant can escape into the compressor’s cylinders. This can cause damage to the valves since they are not designed to handle such conditions. The connecting rods may also experience faults. Get certified HVAC technicians to promptly assess and address this issue to prevent further deterioration.
  • Risk of Air Conditioner Compressor Motor Burnout: Liquid refrigerant may also leak into the crankcase and mix with the oil, resulting in a sudden increase in crankcase pressure. When this happens, the compressor motor will be subjected to excessive stress. This will eventually lead to burnout and make the motor inoperable. In such cases, the only solution may be to replace the entire cooling system. Timely intervention by professionals is essential to prevent this outcome.

Related Article: Roth Vs. Granby Oil Tanks: What To Consider

What Homeowners Should Do

If you suspect that your air conditioner has overcharged refrigerant, take immediate action. Turn off the AC unit and seek assistance from an experienced HVAC technician. Only a certified professional will possess the necessary expertise to accurately calculate the correct refrigerant level and perform the necessary corrections. The professional will also address any damages caused by the overcharge to ensure a swift return to normal operation.

Call Van Varick & Sons To Make An Appointment


When it comes to air conditioner installations and repairs, do not to cut corners. While amateurs may offer lower prices, their lack of expertise can lead to future problems. They are more likely to overcharge systems, resulting in the need to hire professionals to rectify the situation. It is best to engage certified technicians from the outset to avoid unnecessary headaches and enjoy a stress-free ownership experience.

Get Started – Call Van Varick & Sons Today

Contact Van Varick & Sons for All Your HVAC Needs

Van Varick & Sons is the go-to provider for exceptional heating and cooling services In Northern New Jersey. We have a team of highly skilled and certified technicians specialized in HVAC tune-ups, repairs, installations, and replacements. With our enviable track record, you can trust that your HVAC system will receive top-notch service.

At Van Varick & Sons, we offer a wide range of heating and cooling services in the area at competitive prices. Our maintenance services will enhance your comfort, improve energy efficiency, and lower your home heating and cooling costs. Whether you require a repair or need a replacement system, our technicians can recommend the best options tailored to your specific needs and budget. We stand behind our work with a satisfaction guarantee to ensure you are fully content with the service provided.

To schedule a service appointment, simply reach out to us today. We are pleased to offer free, in-home estimates, enabling us to assess your HVAC requirements accurately.

Click here to view our service area. You can click here to contact us now or call us at (973) 694-2777 to find out more!