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Goettl Air Conditioning Tucson Blog

How Do I Add Refrigerant to My AC?

van-drivingWe will expand on this in the post that follows, but let us give you the executive summary right off the bat: you don’t. Yes, your air conditioner is designed to work with a specific amount of refrigerant. Yes, a low refrigerant charge is going to wind up causing you problems, and in a number of different ways. Yes, the refrigerant will need to be recharged if you want your air conditioning system to function properly once more. No, you never do this on your own.

There are a lot of different projects that you can busy yourself with around the house. This type of air conditioning repair in Tucson is definitely not one of them. Not only do you lack the skill and expertise necessary for solving the problem at its core, but there are actually strict regulations regarding who is authorized to be working with refrigerant in the first place. So read on, learn a bit more about refrigerant and the role that it plays in your AC system, and contact Goettl Air Conditioning Tucson at the first sign of trouble. 

Without Refrigerant, Your AC Would Not Cool!

Evaporative coolers aside, all other air conditioning systems use refrigerant in order to facilitate the cooling process. Heat pumps, ductless mini splits, split central air conditioners; all rely on this heat transfer fluid to get the job done. That is why having too little of it is such a big problem!

When a central cooling system cools your home, it is not generating “coolness” the way that a furnace or boiler will generate new heat. You are actually feeling the absence of heat when cool air blows from your ducts or wall mounted air handlers (in a ductless scenario). It is refrigerant that removes heat from the air.

Refrigerant is evaporated in the evaporator coil, and it draws heat out of the air during the process. It is then pumped outside to be condensed and release its heat. That cycle continues until desired temperatures are met.

But Why Can’t I Just Top Off My Refrigerant?

Because your air conditioner does not consume refrigerant like a car consumes gasoline. Refrigerant is a heat transfer fluid, not a fuel, and it is recycled throughout the system over and over. A low charge either means that your system was not charged properly to begin with—not likely when you work with us!—or you have a leak.

So, even if you could top off your refrigerant, that is addressing a symptom, not the root problem. Our technicians will pinpoint the source of any leaks in your system, fix them accordingly, and then recharge the system to the proper levels.

Running a system that is low on refrigerant puts a lot of strain on it. Energy costs will rise as the system has to run harder and longer than it should, and it may also start to short cycle if it overheats. Ice may develop on the evaporator coil, creating an insulating layer and making the problem worse. Eventually, irrevocable damage may be done to your compressor, so contact us if you think you may have a refrigerant leak!

G-O-E-T-T-L it’ll keep you cool but it’s hard to spell.

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