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The Big Mistake People Make About AC Refrigerant

copper-tubesWe don’t expect our customers to be experts at how their air conditioning systems run. After all, that’s why professionals like us exist! However, there are a few basic facts about air conditioning that we’d like more people to know, because they help with understanding when repairs are necessary and what certain warning signs mean.

One of the biggest mistaken ideas people have about air conditioning systems is that the refrigerant running through them needs periodic refills, same as putting gas in a car or getting new batteries for a remote control.

This is completely untrue! Except in cases of refrigerant leaks, air conditioning systems never need to have more refrigerant put in them.

Let’s get deeper into the specifics of this, because it can end up rescuing your AC.

Refrigerant Is Not a Fuel

The reason people often believe an AC needs to get a refrigerant fill-up is because they make the mistake of thinking that refrigerant is the fuel source for the air conditioner, where the AC gets the energy to run. But it’s not. The energy source for the air conditioner is electricity. This is what the air conditioner consumes as it runs. Refrigerant, unlike the gas in a vehicle or the electric charge in a battery, does not get used up as the system runs. It circulates through the system and never lessens as it does its job.

Speaking of which…

Refrigerant Is a Heat Transference Medium

The job of refrigerant is to carry out heat transfer. For an air conditioner to lower the temperature in a house, it absorbs heat from the air by evaporating cold refrigerant. The refrigerant then releases that heat to the outside by condensing. The refrigerant changes between liquid and gas state as it evaporates and condenses, but the same amount of refrigerant is always there.

The Importance of the Refrigerant Charge

Charge is the amount of refrigerant an air conditioner is designed to use for its service life. When an AC is installed, the installers put the exact charge into the system. The AC cannot operate correctly if the charge is either too low or too higher. Either situation will eventually cause the compressor to burn out and bring the service life of the system to an end.

How ACs Become Undercharged or Overcharged

As we mentioned above, the only way for an air conditioner to lose refrigerant is through leaks in the system. If you notice your air conditioner is losing cooling power, you hear hissing noises from it, or see ice on the evaporator coil, it may be losing refrigerant. Call a professional for repairs right away.

Overcharging can happen when amateurs try to fix an AC. They may end up putting too much refrigerant into an air conditioner when repairing leaks. This is yet another reason to always rely on licensed professionals, and licensed professionals only, for air conditioning service in Davison, MI. Our technicians are the ones you want whenever you have trouble with your AC—whether leaks or anything else.

First Choice Heating & Cooling: If your home had a voice … it would call First Choice!

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