Does an Air Conditioner Need to be Refilled With Refrigerant?

When your air conditioner runs, it takes hot air and cools its down through the use of refrigerant running through the coils. There are several types of refrigerant that serve as a heat transfer fluid. However, one of the common questions an HVAC service technician will get when an air conditioner is not working as well as it used to is if they need more refrigerant.

The answer is typically quite simple. The refrigerant in your air conditioner runs in a closed loop. This means it is cycled over and over again without being released. It doesn’t get used up like gas in a car, for example. So, in effect, you will never need the refrigerant refilled.

There is one exception to this rule. If the coils or some other part of your air conditioner is damaged, it may start to leak refrigerant. In this case, you have several problems. It will first affect how well your air conditioner cools your home, you will need an expensive repair and refill to fix it, and refrigerant isn’t something you want leaking in your yard.

Fortunately, the symptoms of an air conditioner refrigerant leak are often the symptoms of many other air conditioner problems. These include:

  • Taking longer to cool a home
  • Ice build up on the air conditioner
  • Higher energy bills
  • Ducts blowing hot air

This means that if you notice these problems right away and call for air conditioner repair, it can solve a refrigerant leak before too much contaminates your yard. If your air conditioner is of an advanced age, you may also want to consider that it may be more cost effective to replace an air conditioner that is leaking coolant. Your technician can also help advise you if the damage that caused the leak is quite extensive on what you would be best off doing.

If you have questions about your air conditioning unit, contact Falcon Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc.

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