Does My Air Conditioner’s Refrigerant Need to Be Topped Off?
When someone’s air conditioner starts to have problems or does not cool the air as much as it should, some people take this to mean that the system needs more refrigerant added. However, that’s not necessarily the case. There are only a couple of situations where an AC system might need more refrigerant – which is why you should always get New Jersey air conditioning repair specialists to diagnose your system, before committing to any particular fix.
Here’s what you should know.
How Refrigerant Makes Your AC System Work
It’s true that refrigerant is one of the key components of an air conditioning system. The refrigerant is a fluid that travels between your indoor AC unit and the outdoor unit. Simply put, the refrigerant captures heat within the home, then moves that heat outside where it’s released into the air.
Without refrigerant, your air conditioner won’t work. However, the important thing to know is that refrigerant doesn’t go away, at least not under normal circumstances. An AC unit could function for years, even decades, with the exact same refrigerant that it received at the time of installation.
When Refrigerant Needs to Be Replaced Or “Topped Up”
There are only two basic times when air conditioning repair crews might need to add coolant to a system.
- 1 – If there’s a leak.
This is by far the most common reason that refrigerant would ever be added to an air conditioner – the pipes or tubing have sprung a leak, and the refrigerant is leaking out. In this case, the AC repair experts would first need to locate and fix the leak, then add more refrigerant to replace what was lost.
- 2 – If your AC system was poorly installed.
When an air conditioner is first installed, it must be “charged,” which is the process of adding refrigerant for the first time. The manufacturer’s specifications tell the installers how much coolant is needed, but sometimes the installers don’t follow the manual and put in too little refrigerant. In this case, it would be necessary to add more coolant, to bring it up to spec.
Otherwise, there are numerous other reasons an air conditioning system might be struggling. If your AC isn’t producing enough cold air, contact Air Temp Service for the best in New Jersey air conditioning repair and a free consultation.