This day and age, many homeowners simply cannot live without central air conditioning. This is especially true here in the Mid Atlantic, where the DC metro area is known for having some especially steamy summers that make spending extended periods of time outdoors utterly unbearable.
While your central air conditioning has largely sat dormant all winter, that doesn't mean that it is going to function just as well as it did when you retired it for the season last year. We've talked about ways to clear out the vents in your home that pump out cool air, but repairing the outdoor AC unit itself is another issue entirely.
One problem that many homeowners run into every year is that when they start really relying on their ACs to keep their homes comfortable in the spring, they'll notice that the air coming out of the vents just isn't cutting it. While this could be indicative of any number of issues, one of the first things that you should check if this happens is your AC's refrigerant levels.
This fluid is what actually cools the system so that the air pumped through your home's vents is adequately chilled. The refrigerant level needs to be filled precisely to the manufacturers standards - no more, no less - so that the system doesn't malfunction.
Often, homeowners will notice that older AC units go through refrigerant much faster than they had during previous years while working to keep the house a comfortable temperature. This isn't because the AC necessarily has to work harder but is actually a sign of a leak.
If you suspect that your system may be leaking refrigerant, contact a Washington, DC air conditioning repair service like John C. Flood immediately to inspect your main unit. Attempting to fix this problem yourself - especially if you haven't had proper HVAC training - could just exasperate the issue and cost you more in the long run.