A question we get a lot when we show up for AC repair is, “Does it just need more Freon?” This is something homeowners hope for, likely because they’ve heard it’s an easy solution. After all, when a car’s air conditioner stops working, the technician might say they can just recharge the refrigerant.
However, this might not be the case. First of all, your air conditioner has a lot of electrical and mechanical components and any one of them could be responsible for your cooling breakdown. Issues can also get worse over time, which is why it’s so important to call in technicians as soon as possible after an AC breakdown. In addition, a refrigerant leak is not something to be treated as normal.
More on refrigerant
Here’s what we think you should know about refrigerant before you assume you may need more: refrigerant will never leak out of an air conditioner unless something is wrong. Refrigerant is not a fuel like gas for your car. It’s not something that should be used up.
Refrigerant is key in heat exchange because it has the ability to absorb heat from the air in your home and release it to the outdoor unit. However, the refrigerant itself is never released. It is designed to stay within the system so that it can continue to absorb and release heat as is necessary for refrigeration.
Why would you have low levels of refrigerant?
It’s possible that your air conditioner could not have been given the right amount of refrigerant in the first place. However, when refrigerant levels lower over time, it’s due to a leak. This might be a small leak somewhere along the refrigerant line, or it may be a major leak that could lead to problems with your compressor quite soon.
What to do about refrigerant leaks
A leak along the refrigerant line will cause reduced cooling, potentially higher energy usage, and possible damage to the compressor. If you find out that refrigerant is leaking from your air conditioner, you should take a technician’s advice. But if they only recommend recharging the refrigerant and not sealing the leak, then you might want to get a second opinion. Sealing a refrigerant leak helps you out in the long term, so you don’t have to deal with more AC problems later on, and it can help protect the environment as well.
But is it really a refrigerant leak?
There are a few signs that you may have a refrigerant leak.
- A struggling AC system.
- High energy bills.
- A system that runs constantly.
- Reduced cooling.
But all of these problems could be caused by several other issues as well. Anything from a dirty filter or outdoor coil to a broken motor could cause these issues, which is why it’s so important to call skilled and experienced technicians to do a full diagnosis. Keep in mind that the service may not go as quickly as you think, whether you need more refrigerant or another AC repair.
Get same day service for your air conditioner in West Orange, NJ with the comfort specialists at MarGo Plumbing Heating Cooling Inc.