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July 11th, 2017

How to Know if You Need to Recharge Your AC System’s Coolant

If you’re one of the lucky people, you never will have to deal with changing your air conditioner’s coolant. Your equipment’s designed using a loop that’s closed. If there’s nothing going wrong, your coolant should be able to last for as long as you have your air conditioner. But there are sometimes when you’ll have a malfunction or leak in your unit, and this could mean that you’ll have to replace your coolant. Below are some tips you can use to helping diagnose a problem with coolant and knowing when a recharge is needed.

First Rule Out Any Maintenance Problems

The most apparent sign that your coolant’s leaking is when your AC system’s not properly functioning. If your home’s not being cooled effectively by your HVAC unit or if you can feel warm air coming through your ducts rather than cool, you want to investigate. Another indication that you may have a leak is a lot of ice or condensation on your equipment.

Before calling someone to refill your coolant, there’s a few other reasons this could be happening. Hopefully it’s one of these reasons. For example, your unit might be dirty, which can cause the efficiency to drop. So you want to check the air filter and change it. You can also check your condenser and evaporator coolers. It’s also important to clear any debris like leaves that could clog up your fans.

Plug Up Your Leak and Then Recharge

If the AC still isn’t properly working, you should have someone professional take a look and then verify if there’s a leak in the coolant. Someone who is qualified will be able to fix your leak, recharge your system with the coolant and then get your system running again. There’s a variety of coolants for air conditioners that can be used. R-22 is the one that’s most used, and it’s also called Freon. But Freon is not used as much in the US because of concerns with the environment. The supplies are dwindling and the prices are getting really high. The systems that are newer often will use R401A, which is called Puron. This is thought to be a lot safer for the environment. But you can’t just replace your Freon and use Puron. You’re going to have to purchase a brand-new system to switch.

Certified Professional Needed

You can’t recharge coolant yourself, and most of the time you can’t even buy coolant on your own. In order to make the purchase, you have to have certification from the EPA and most retailers won’t sell to anyone who isn’t licensed. Not only that, but your air conditioner’s coolant is under very high pressure, and it’s dangerous when a non-professional tries charging it. So you want to make sure that you have someone professional to take care of the coolant recharging. Otherwise you could put yourself in a lot of danger by trying to do it yourself even if you’re able to buy the coolant on your own.

Need Help? Talk to An Expert!

Our goal is to help educate our HVAC customers in the Port Charlotte and Charlotte County, Florida area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC, Heating and Air Conditioning systems).

If you are contemplating having your air conditioning repaired, Contact Dales Heating and Air Conditioning by calling (941) 629-1712 or by filling out our secure Contact Form.