What Every Homeowner Needs to Know About Refrigerant
Refrigerant is likely not a topic homeowners think about often – until their air conditioner fails to cool their house. Then, this substance becomes very important.
Refrigerant or coolant is responsible for cooling homes to their desired temperature. This substance, located in the coils of an AC system, absorbs the heat to cool the air. A home cannot properly cool without it – or the right amount.
To keep their AC working correctly, homeowners need to know what type of refrigerant is needed for the unit, what causes leaks, and when to call for professional repairs.
How to Tell Which Refrigerant an AC Uses
When HVAC technicians ask homeowners what type of refrigerant their system uses, most do not know. Moreover, most do not know there are various types of refrigerants. This is worrisome because refrigerants are not interchangeable. Using the wrong one can damage an AC system.
When technicians visit a home, they will point out where owners can find the info – typically located on a label on the AC system. Property owners can also refer to their user’s manual.
When inspecting a unit, technicians will also check its age. If built before 2010, it likely uses R-22, or freon. R22 refrigerant has been banned due to its negative impacts on the ozone layer, and cannot be used in new models. A technician may recommend replacing the older unit if it relies on freon.
What Causes Refrigerant Leaks?
During an inspection of an air conditioner, HVAC technicians will use refrigerant leak detectors to check for problems. Various issues can cause leaks, so experts will perform a thorough examination.
They will typically start by looking at the age and condition of the unit. If it is corroding, there can be chemicals that will cause rust and wear and tear. This can lead to small holes forming in tubes, resulting in refrigerant leaks.
Technicians will also look for damage to the system that may have occurred during a poor installation or due to aging. They will check the components and see if the valves or coils are damaged and causing leaks.
Experts will also check to see when a system was last maintained. If it’s been a while, it can mean there were issues with the unit that went undetected and caused leaks.
When is it Time to Call a Professional?
To prevent damage to their air conditioner and an uncomfortable home in the summer, homeowners should schedule professional services as soon as possible.
Some signs that can indicate they have a refrigerant problem that requires repairs – including leaks and frozen AC coils – are:
- If their house is not cooling to the ideal temperature
- If their system is running continuously without shutting off
- If there are hissing or gurgling sounds coming from the system
- If there is ice forming on the coils, causing frozen coils
About Davis Heating & Cooling
Davis Heating & Cooling is Hunterdon County’s honest heating and cooling company. They offer a 10-year warranty on parts and services and provide 24/7 live answers. Call them today for HVAC services in Flemington, NJ.