Does My Central Air Conditioner Need More Refrigerant?

Summer is here! So you’ll be using your A/C more and more to keep you and your family nice and cold.

One of the concerns we hear from people is, “Does my central air conditioner need more refrigerant?” Well, to answer that question let’s address exactly what refrigerant is and how it works in in your HVAC system.

What exactly is refrigerant and how is it used?

There are many different refrigerants, R-410a and the most common being R-22. We’ll just say refrigerant from now on.

So what does refrigerant actually do?

Refrigerant is a “heat transfer fluid.” In other words, it absorbs the heat from your indoor air and transfers it outside, cooling the air down. Then that same cooled air is recirculated back into your home for everyone to enjoy.

Helpful resource: AHRI provides great info about how air conditioners work if you want to learn more.

How do I know if my air conditioner has used up too much refrigerant?

Refrigerant isn’t ever “used up” like a car uses gas or oil. It’s just circulated around your A/C system to cool your air. No refrigerant is lost in the process.

However, there are signs that you may be running low on refrigerant due to a leak.

There are some tell-tale signs that’s the case.

Signs your air conditioner needs more refrigerant

  • Supply ducts/registers are blowing hot air even when your A/C is running and your thermostat is set to “cool.”
  • Water has accumulated on the floor by your furnace due to condensation.
  • House takes forever to cool off.
  • Ice has built up on copper lines from a/c to indoor coil
  • High electric bills (because your air conditioner has to run longer to cool your home)
  • House takes longer than normal to cool off

If you have the above signs you may have a leak and your air conditioner may be low on refrigerant.

What should I do?

You need to get a professional to find and fix the leak, and then add more refrigerant.

If you don’t add refrigerant, you’ll have more on your hands than just an uncomfortable home–your air conditioner can prematurely break down as well.

Contractors usually check for refrigerant leaks during HVAC tune-ups. Your air conditioner needs one at least once a year; spring is the best time of the year to do it before air conditioning companies get busy.

Schedule a $88 AC Tune-Up Today

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If you need a tune-up or a refrigerant charge, contact Service Champions online for help.

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