If your air conditioner is low on refrigerant, either it was undercharged at installation or it leaks. If it leaks, simply adding refrigerant is not a solution.
One great way to think of it is that refrigerant is like air in your tire, not gas in your vehicle’s tank. If you find that you need to add refrigerant every year, then you have a leak that needs to be identified. We cannot always pinpoint and fix the leak, but we can usually find the component that the leak is in and replace that.
Leaking refrigerant will eventually prevent your system from cooling your home. Refrigerant is also used to cool your compressor, so your air won’t feel as cold when it comes out. It will also cost money in terms of your cooling bill. Leaks increase the wear and tear on your system’s parts and freezing up causes blowers to work harder. If left undiagnosed for too long, it can also cause major component failure as well. Low refrigerant can cause premature compressor failure. It is also one of the most common HVAC issues according to energy.gov. Refrigerant leaks can also be harmful to the environment.
The old standard for residential air conditioners, now being phased out by the U.S. In 2020, R-22 will no longer be produced or imported. After 2020, only recovered, recycled, or reclaimed supplies of R-22 will be available. The production (not use) of R-22 is being phased out. You are not required to stop using R-22 air conditioners nor to replace existing equipment. The phase-out period provides time to switch to ozone-friendly refrigerants when you normally would replace your air conditioner. In the future, R-22 supplies will be more limited and costs to service equipment with R-22 may rise. What this all means for you is that if your system uses the old refrigerant, acting quickly will save you money.
When the refrigerant levels circulating through the evaporator coils is insufficient, the coil swill not adequately absorb heat. This will result in the condensation on the coils to freeze. Sometimes the frozen condensation will begin to melt and drip onto your ceiling. Though ice on the evaporator coil might not seem alarming, it could lead to a system breakdown and could translate into an expensive repair such as a compressor replacement.
A trained technician should be able to identify a leak, repair it, or recommend a replacement solution to stop the refrigerant leak. Remember that the performance and efficiency of your air conditioner are greatest when the refrigerant charge exactly matches the manufacturer’s specifications. If you suspect you are leaking refrigerant, don’t hesitate to give us a call at Gentry Air Conditioning today! We can help make things right.