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When Do I Need to Put More Refrigerant into My AC?

technician-checking-on-ac-pressureYou probably know that something called refrigerant (also referred to as Freon, which is a specific brand of refrigerant) is an essential component for your air conditioner to do its job. But do you know how it works? It’s not actually a type of fuel, like gasoline in a car, which is consumed in order to create the energy to run a system. Refrigerant instead circulates without being consumed. But refrigerant is not like oil in a car either, which circulates but eventually degrades over time and needs to be replaced.

To answer the question in the title, refrigerant should remain at the same level for your AC’s service life and never need to be replaced or have more put in. If you hear a supposed AC “expert” tell you that your system’s refrigerant needs to be regularly topped off, don’t believe them. The factory set charge of refrigerant in your AC is exactly what it should be.

Loss of Refrigerant Can Happen, However

If you have a situation where your AC has lost refrigerant and needs more put in, what you actually need is air conditioning repair in Union Township, NJ. Refrigerant can escape from an air conditioning system because of leaks along the copper refrigerant lines or loose connection points.

Unfortunately, leaking refrigerant lines is a common trouble that may afflict air conditioners after five years of service. Formicary corrosion along the copper lines, which is caused by air pollutants from common household chemicals, can weaken the metal to the point where the high-pressure refrigerant gas escapes through tiny pinhole leaks.

Loss of a refrigerant charge is a serious problem for an air conditioning system. It will affect performance, leading to uneven cooling around a home. Worst of all, the change in pressure throughout the air conditioner will eventually lead to permanent damage to the compressor. And when the compressor goes, it usually means the whole air conditioning system goes and must be replaced.

To fix problems with a low refrigerant charge, professionals must first locate and seal up the leaks. Then they recharge the refrigerant to its factory set charge and test the pressure. (It’s essential to get the charge exact. Too much refrigerant is also damaging, leading to cold liquid refrigerant entering the compressor and causing it to fail.) This is yet another reason to only trust licensed HVAC technicians who are certified to handle refrigerant with your air conditioning services.

Watch for the Low Refrigerant Warning Signs!

Moving fast to have your AC repaired is the secret to preventing bigger problems. Here are a few warnings about a drop in refrigerant charge in your cooling system:

  • The AC can’t keep up with the hot weather
  • Hissing noises from the cabinets
  • Ice developing along the indoor coil
  • Hot spots in rooms and general uneven

Other issues could be behind these warning signs—but whatever they are, they need a pro on the job! Don’t hesitate to call for repairs, or you may end up with a busted air conditioner.

Let Air Creations, Inc. take care of your AC repair needs: “We Do It Right!” since 1987.

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