FAQs About Refrigerant

What Is Refrigerant?

Refrigerant is a substance in the coils of an air conditioning unit. It absorbs heat and provides cooler air. This is essential for air conditioners to work properly and allow them to cool homes correctly. AC units cannot produce cool air to make homes comfortable without refrigerant or coolant. 

There are numerous types of refrigerant, so it’s crucial to know which one a home’s unit requires. HVAC technicians answer questions on common types of refrigerant, causes of refrigerant leaks, and services professionals can provide. 

How to Tell Which Refrigerant an AC Uses

There are multiple types of refrigerants. It’s important to know which type a home’s AC system uses to ensure the right substance is being added. The types of refrigerant are not interchangeable, so property owners need to know the exact type their system needs to prevent damage.

Some ways homeowners can determine the type of refrigerant their system needs are to:

  • Review the unit’s users’ manual or documentation. The manufacturer commonly provides the specifics about the type of refrigerant needed. 
  • Look for a label outside the AC unit that indicates the refrigerant type. 
  • If a homeowner is unsure what type of refrigerant is needed, they should ask a professional. An HVAC technician will know how to identify the refrigerant needed. 

A home with an older air conditioner built before 2010 may use R-22 or Freon. R22 refrigerant was banned in new air conditioners because it can cause environmental damage. Property owners may need to replace the unit or consider retrofitting if this is the case. 

What Causes Refrigerant Leaks?

leakAir conditioning systems can encounter refrigerant leaks that require professional repairs. Some common causes of the leaks can include:

  • Wear and tear over time due to aging.
  • Corrosion is due to exposure to moisture, chemicals, and other substances. These can lead to rust and can cause pinholes in the tubing.
  • Improper installation, which may include poor connections or inadequate soldering.
  • Damage to the air conditioner due to improper handling or being hit by an object.
  • Defective components, such as valves, coils, or joints.
  • Poor AC system maintenance, including a lack of cleaning or inspections.

When is it Time to Call a Professional?

proTo avoid an uncomfortable home – especially in the summer months – homeowners should identify refrigerant issues as soon as possible so they can get their AC unit back up and working quickly. Some signs that can indicate property owners need to schedule services with an HVAC technician are:

  • Reduced cooling: If a home is not cooling to the temperature setting on the thermostat, it can indicate a refrigerant leak.
  • AC runs constantly: If an air conditioner keeps running and does not turn off, it can also signal a leak in the system. 
  • Hissing or gurgling sounds: Refrigerant leaks can produce sounds, such as hissing or gurgling, caused by refrigerant escaping through a small hole or crack.
  • Ice formation: Refrigerant leaks can cause ice to form on refrigerant lines, resulting in frozen AC coils. Low refrigerant levels and reduced cooling capacity can result in condensation freezing on the components. 

If homeowners notice these symptoms, they should schedule services with a professional as soon as possible. A technician can use a refrigerant leak detector to determine if there’s an issue and look for signs of frozen coils.

About The Bosworth Company Kerrville

The Bosworth Company Kerrville has proudly served Hill County residents for over 70 years. They offer 24/7 live answering and 100% satisfaction guaranteed with every call. Call them today for HVAC services in Kerrville, TX.