Dispelling a Common Refrigerant Myth

dispelling-common-refrigerant-mythThere is a fairly common myth going around about refrigerant. Its importance is often undervalued—but as we alluded to in a post earlier this summer about the current refrigerant phaseout, refrigerant is a chemical blend of heat transfer fluids vital to the functionality of your air conditioner or heat pump system.

The myth we’re referring to, is that refrigerant is something that gets used up, and therefore has to be refilled—recharged—on a regular basis. On the contrary, however, if your cooling system is losing refrigerant, it means that you have a leak. Refrigerant continuously cycles through your AC to effectively transfer heat to bring you a comfortable indoor climate—but it’s not like gas in a car where it gets used up.

Understanding Refrigerant

When your HVAC system is installed, it’s supplied with enough refrigerant to last its entire lifespan, ideally. There is a chance at some point that you will need a refrigerant recharge, but as we mentioned above, it means you have a leak. Losing refrigerant is not party of the natural cooling and heating process your HVAC system goes through.

The source of the leak needs to be located, and your refrigerant line repairs so that system efficiency can be restored. Without this professional service, your AC system will begin to experience a number of problems, which can include the following.

A Drop in Cooling Output

When a leak happens along your refrigerant line, you cooling system’s output will drop right along with the drop in refrigerant level. Eventually, you could lose enough refrigerant that the AC system will break down entirely.

Therefore, if you notice even the slightest drop in cooling output, it’s essential that you call for professional air conditioning repairs in Marana, AZ immediately. While a drop in cooling output is not caused by a refrigerant leak exclusively—it may be due to an air handler issue or some other type of mechanical problem—it is never something to be ignored.

Lukewarm Air Coming from Vents

Let’s say that instead of less powerful airflow, you notice warm air coming from your vents. This is another sign of a refrigerant leak. Having too little refrigerant in the AC system puts a large amount of stress on it, and you may wind up doing pretty serious and irreversible damage to the compressor if you continue to run it without the right refrigerant charge.

The Development of Ice on the Evaporator Coil

Many homeowners believe that seeing ice on any part of the AC is okay—after all, it’s a cooling system, right? But there is actually no part of the cooling process in which you should see ice developing. Ice or frost will only form on the outside of the evaporator coil is there is a problem—likely a refrigerant leak.

The problem is that this ice serves as an insulating barrier between the refrigerant and the air that it’s mean to provide cooling too. This means your air conditioner has to work even harder to do its job—and eventually the problem will get so bad that it won’t be able to do its job at all.

It’s also important to remember that you should not try to remove the ice yourself. First off, you can damage the evaporator coil. Secondly, removing the ice is only a temporary fix—you need to get to the root of the problem so this never occurs again. This can only be done by trusting in the professionals!

G-O-E-T-T-L it’ll keep you cool but it’s hard to spell.