Does this situation sound familiar?
You notice that something seems to be wrong with your air conditioner and when you talk to your local handyman, they tell you that you are “low on refrigerant.” Then they tell you that they can top it off. Perhaps they mention that needing refrigerant refills throughout your system’s lifespan is normal.
We hate to be the bearers of bad news, but nothing about a low refrigerant supply is normal. Anyone telling you that needing a “top off” for your refrigerant is lying to you.
Yes, you may one day need to get your refrigerant supply refilled but the reality is that this is a sign of a problem in your AC–namely, a refrigerant line leak!
What You Should Know About Refrigerant
Refrigerant is essentially the “life’s blood” of your air conditioner. We know that sounds a little strange, but it is true! Refrigerant is vital to the cooling process and without it, your AC really can’t do anything. Here’s what you should know about this substance, its role, and how you might end up losing some of it (oh, and here are the problems that low refrigerant can create too).
Refrigerant Absorbs and Moves Heat
This substance is the thing that allows your AC to cool the air in your home. Refrigerant is evaporated into a gaseous state which allows it to absorb heat. It then transports this heat outside and releases it during the compression process.
It Runs in a Closed-loop System
Your refrigerant isn’t used up the way that gas is. Refrigerant is cycled through the system repeatedly. Your air conditioner is installed with the exact amount of refrigerant it will need to allow it to function for the entirety of its service lifespan. This is why losing refrigerant is a sign of trouble.
Refrigerant Leaks Are the Only Way That Your System Loses Refrigerant
If you notice the signs of refrigerant loss, then it means you have a leak and need an AC repair in Miami. What are the indicators of trouble? Warning signs of a refrigerant leak can include:
- Short cycling: Interrupted cooling cycles
- Poor cooling: Less refrigerant means less cool air produced
- High bills: A struggling AC will use extra energy to get by
A Leak Needs To Be Patched and Your Refrigerant Needs To Be Refilled (Recharged)
If your air conditioner has a refrigerant leak then you will want to have it addressed as quickly as possible. Refrigerant leaks need to be patched correctly by a professional. But you can’t stop there! The same professional needs to refill (also known as recharge) your refrigerant supply. This will get your system back to working correctly again.
As you can see, refrigerant is highly important to your AC. And unfortunately, many unlicensed ‘handymen” will use misconceptions about refrigerant to take advantage of unsuspecting individuals. The more you know, the better off you’ll be! Then you’ll be able to protect yourself and know exactly when to call in a professional.