You should not need to add more refrigerant to your AC during the summer. In fact, your system should operate for many years without ever needing more. With a full understanding of what refrigerant is and how it works to keep your AC pumping efficiently, you’ll have a better understanding of what to expect from your system.
What Is AC Refrigerant?
Refrigerant is responsible for absorbing heat from warm air pulled into your AC system. That air blows over the evaporator coil, which is where it meets the refrigerant and is transformed into cool air for your home. As it moves through your system over and over, your refrigerant will change from a high-pressure liquid to a low-pressure gas and back.
How AC Refrigerant Works
AC refrigerant cycles through your system repeatedly. It doesn’t burn off or get used up in any way. The same refrigerant can cycle in one system for years without ever decreasing in quantity. It’s not a resource that you need to replenish, so the same refrigerant should last to the end of your system’s life.
Is Running Low on Refrigerant Impossible?
No, it’s not possible to run low on refrigerant. That occurs when your AC has a leak. There are a variety of things that could lead to a refrigerant leak.
Signs of a potential refrigerant leak include the following:
- Strange noises coming from the outdoor AC unit
- Warm air flowing from your vents
- Reduced airflow in your home
- Increased energy bills
These symptoms are all potentially caused by other AC problems that have little to nothing to do with your refrigerant. That’s why it’s important to have a skilled HVAC technician inspect your system as soon as you start noticing unusual sounds, changes in indoor temperature, or other signs that your system isn’t functioning properly.
In some extreme cases, refrigerant can release inside your home. That can lead to difficulty breathing, nausea, and dizziness if members of your household breathe in the refrigerant. You should get all humans and pets out of the home immediately and seek medical attention if you believe that is occurring in your home. You will need a trustworthy HVAC technician to look at your system.
What to Do If You Think Your Refrigerant is Low
If you’re concerned about refrigerant levels for your AC, call us to have an experienced professional inspect your system. If the refrigerant is low, we will identify and correct the leak prior to recharging your AC.