One of the most crucial elements of a cozy house is your air conditioner. Your summer months would be spent inside a hot, muggy house if you didn’t have an air conditioner.
However, ACs occasionally stop functioning when there is some problem in the unit. It frequently results from a compressor failing, a motor slowing down, or a refrigerant leak. One of the more serious issues is refrigerant leaks, which are impossible to remedy on your own. To deal with refrigerant leaks, you need an expert.
The noble gas freon, which is used to make refrigerant, can change states from a gas to a liquid and back again with the aid of the condenser and evaporator found in an air conditioning unit. This aids in cooling the outside air that is drawn inside. How can you tell if your central air conditioner needs Refrigerant? We will discuss everything here.
What Is Refrigerant?
A gas called refrigerant is more frequently referred to by brand names like Puron. Refrigerant is required for proper air conditioning in every central air system. It is in charge of launching the heating and cooling cycle. No temperature can be reached by air conditioning without refrigerant. Continue reading if you want to learn why your air conditioner needs refrigerant.
HOW REFRIGERANT WORKS
The refrigerant in your air conditioner moves from the indoor evaporator coil to the outdoor condenser unit. In the condenser coils, it is cooled so that it may return to the evaporator coil and continue to condition the air in your home. In the evaporator coils, it collects heat from the circulated air.
The compressor, where the refrigerant is compressed to a high-pressure, hot gas, is where the refrigerant cycle begins. The condenser houses the compressor. After entering the condensing coil, where it is cooled, the hot, high-pressure gas transforms into a high-pressure liquid. The home’s evaporator coil is pumped with high-pressure liquid. A metering device converts a high-pressure liquid into a low-pressure liquid. It gets really cold when the refrigerant pressure lowers.
Only cold air enters your home as a result of the refrigerant losing heat when the cold air from your home passes over it. The liquid refrigerant turns into a cold gas as it absorbs heat from the air. The process is then restarted when the cold gas refrigerant returns to the compressor and cools it down.
Why would an AC system be low on refrigerant?
As a closed system, the central air conditioning system’s refrigerant levels should never decrease. Your air conditioner should last as long as the system does when it is first installed and charged by your HVAC contractor.
There are two reasons why refrigerant levels may be dropping if you notice them. First, the air conditioner loses a little amount of refrigerant through routine system maintenance from handling and care. What is lost, nevertheless, ought to be replenished at each maintenance visit. Second, one of the several coils or tubes may leak.
Call your HVAC professional right away if you find a leak so that the gas doesn’t contaminate your air supply.
What Type of Refrigerant Does My Air Conditioner Use?
Your unit’s age, manufacturer, and model will determine the sort of refrigerant you can use. Your air conditioner most likely uses HCFC-22 (R-22) refrigerant if it was made before 2010.
While R-22 refrigerant is still used to repair older air conditioners, the EPA forbade the creation and installation of any new R-22 equipment as of January 1, 2010. R-410A (also known as 410A, Forane®, and Puron®) is a typical ozone-friendly refrigerant substitute.
The nameplate on the exterior condenser often lists the refrigerant that is utilized in your air conditioner.
You should never run out of refrigerant because it uses a closed-loop to function. You may need more refrigerant if your air conditioner is blowing warm air, but you must first fix the leak.
TWO COMMON REFRIGERANT ISSUES
It’s possible that you won’t always have enough refrigerant to allow the cooling process to take place. The two most typical circumstances are listed below.
Leaks of Refrigerants
The metal corroding over time can cause the refrigerant line to leak. The leaks will begin small, but soon you’ll notice them as your air conditioner has trouble cooling your house. While the AC is running, you can hear an unusually loud whistling or hissing sound. Additionally, you’ll encounter:
- Inadequate Cooling Performance
- Higher Indoor Humidity Levels
- An Increase In Your Energy Costs
An Undercharged System
It’s possible that the contractor who installed your system didn’t adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions and used too little refrigerant. Problems might arise from an incorrect charge, or amount, of refrigerant. Evaporator coils that are frozen and lukewarm cooling could result from a low charge. Regarding a high charge, it can cause the device to overheat and shut down. One of the many reasons it’s essential to work with reliable, experienced, and certified HVAC contractors to manage your heating and cooling equipment is to prevent mistakes like this one.
What Needs to Be Done When the Refrigerant is Low?
If the refrigerant leak is very low, adding more refrigerant can be enough to keep your system running efficiently for a while. However, given that the leak is still present, it will eventually require another recharge.
It’s comparable to adding air to a flat tyre with a tiny hole. For a while, you might be able to continue driving on it, but if you don’t repair the hole, the tyre will eventually go flat once more.
You should get in touch with a professional to get the leak checked thoroughly if you think there may be a refrigerant leak. Since refrigerant is a dangerous substance, you cannot lawfully fix it yourself.
But beware refrigerant doesn’t “use up” like gas in a car does. You have an AC system leak if you have low refrigerant levels. Therefore, topping off your refrigerant without addressing the leak is only a temporary fix, and you’ll probably find yourself in the same predicament again shortly.
Ensure that they locate the leak, remove any remaining refrigerant from the system, fix the leak, and then add the correct amount of refrigerant to your system.