When is Recharging Refrigerant a Sufficient Fix?

It’s a problem when an air conditioner stops blowing cold air. It’s even worse when it happens this time of year. Perhaps someone has suggested a recharge of the AC unit’s refrigerant. Many homeowners hope this is the case, as it’s typically far less expensive than other repairs, or a complete AC replacement. This post shares what a refrigerant service repair entails, and what the main signs are that confirm this is the underlying issue with your residential air conditioner.

What is the Purpose of Refrigerant?

Refrigerant is what your air conditioner uses to transfer heat from inside your home to the outside. The refrigerant circulates in a closed system between an evaporator, typically attached to your furnace, and the compressor and condenser, which are typically located outside. The refrigerant isn’t consumed in the process of cooling your home. And because it is a closed system, it does not typically need to be replaced during the life of the AC. Only when there is a leak does the refrigerant need to be recharged.

Signs the Refrigerant Needs to be Serviced: 

Vents Are Not Blowing Cold Air – This is the number one telltale sign. If everything else seems to be operating as normal then it is likely that a refrigerant leak is the problem.

Frozen Air Conditioner – Refrigerant freezes virtually anything it touches. It is normal to look into the AC unit and see that the pipes are frosty. It is a problem if there is ice or frost buildup outside the unit. This indicates there is a leak that must be serviced.

A refrigerant recharge is absolutely not a repair a residential homeowner can do themselves. In fact, the EPA mandates by law that a licensed professional perform this service. Call Owens if you are concerned about a possible refrigerant leak. Owens Companies will walk you through the issue while clearly and honestly sharing options. Keep in mind, too, that refrigerant leak problems are looked for and diagnosed as part of Owens’ residential Preventive Maintenance Program.

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