Do I Need to Put More Refrigerant in My Air Conditioner?

There’s a very simple answer to this question, which is: No you don’t. But simple answers usually hide more complex ones, and that’s true in this case. Answering the question in more detail explains how refrigerant actually works in an air conditioning system, and also why you sometimes need to contact our expert technicians in Phoenix to help you out with air conditioning repair.

Your air conditioner shouldn’t “run out” of refrigerant under normal conditions

It’s easy to mistake the refrigerant (also called Freon, which is a name brand) for a type of fuel, like the gasoline in a car. But that’s not what refrigerant is: it isn’t an energy source the air conditioner consumes to run. An AC’s energy source is electricity.

What the refrigerant does is allow the air conditioner to move heat from inside your home and then exhaust it outside. To do this, the refrigerant goes through a cycle of evaporating and condensing. It doesn’t dissipate as it switches between liquid and gas stage, so an air conditioner should use the same amount of refrigerant, which is called its charge, for its entire service life.

But refrigerant leaks can happen…

Here’s that abnormal condition where an air conditioner will start to lose refrigerant. Leaks along the refrigerant lines or at connection points will permit the refrigerant to escape, and the charge of the AC will drop. This is bad news! Not only will your air conditioner be less effective at cooling your house, but it will eventually lead to damage to the compressor.

This is where you’ll need our professional HVAC help. If you notice that the AC is no longer keeping your house cool, you see ice along the indoor coil, or you hear a hissing noise from the system, there may be a refrigerant leak. We’ll use special tools to locate the leaks and then seal them. After that, we’ll take care of adding refrigerant to the system to make up for what was lost. It’s vital that you let our trained and licensed professionals do this: we’re certified to handle refrigerant, and we’ll make sure your AC has the right refrigerant level. (Overcharging an air conditioner is just as bad as one with too little refrigerant.)

Call Magic Touch Mechanical for air conditioning repairs in Scottsdale, AZ.