When you are relying on your air conditioner to keep you cool and comfortable, you likely take certain steps to ensure the system works properly. While you know it is important to have the system maintained, you may not know what parts and components work together to provide you with cooled air. An essential material that is necessary when it comes to keeping your home cool is refrigerant. While you may have heard of it before, if you don’t fully understand what it is or its role in your cooling system, find out more here.
What is Refrigerant?
Refrigerant is not a fuel that makes the system run. It is recycled through your HVAC system over and over again, releasing and absorbing heat as it moves between the outdoor and indoor parts of your AC system. This is an important factor because the refrigerant runs in a closed loop, which means you should not have to worry about refilling it unless there is a leak.
Signs it is Time to Have Your Refrigerant Refilled
It doesn’t matter what type of refrigerant your AC uses, some of the signs that it needs to be refilled include:
- No cooling ability. When refrigerant levels are low, less heat will be able to be extracted from the interior of your home. This results in the AC running longer and not cooling as effectively as it did before.
- Higher cooling costs. In addition to not properly cooling your home, when refrigerant is low it can cause higher electricity bills. As the AC works harder to keep the home as cool as it was before, the longer run times will send the cooling bill sky high.
- Frozen cooling coils. When it is in its heated state, the refrigerant prevents the interior evaporator coil from freezing. If the levels are low, then the condensation that begins to form on the coil will freeze. In between cycles, the ice will melt and result in water damage in your home.
- Overheated compressor motor. When the refrigerant moves by the system’s compressor motor, it does so in a cooled state. As a result, the refrigerant will double as a cooling agent, which prevents overheating in the motor. If the refrigerant is low, it won’t effectively cool the motor. You will know overheating has occurred if the AC has issues starting up or if the circuit breaker trips.
If you ignore the fact that your AC system needs a refrigerant refill, it may lead to high energy costs, discomfort, water damage and eventually the system won’t work at all. Keep in mind, recharging the system isn’t something you can handle on your own. You need to hire a licensed technician who has the proper equipment, knowhow and materials to fix leaks and restore the refrigerant to appropriate levels.