How Often Does A Central Air Conditioner Need Refrigerant?

After using a central air conditioner for a very long time, you may think that you have to add refrigerant from time to time. But how often does a central air conditioner need refrigerant? The answer is rarely. This is because most air conditioners come from the manufacturer with enough refrigerant to last a lifetime. However, there are instances when the central AC will need refrigerant. One example is when there is a refrigerant leak, or the air conditioner was not installed properly, or someone is stealing the refrigerant to get high. So if your air conditioner is working just fine, you do not need to add any refrigerant.

Here is why your central air conditioner doesn’t need a refrigerant. A refrigerant is a chemical that facilitates absorption of heat from your home and later disperses it outside. It flows through the air conditioner in closed loops made of copper coils which means it cannot be used up whatsoever unless there is a leak and the refrigerant is escaping through the worn out copper coils. Several signs can help confirm that there is a refrigerant leak.

• If there is warm air finding its way through the vents.

• If your utility bill is way higher than normal.

• When you see ice or frost on the refrigerant lines.

• When you hear a hissing sound, probably from the refrigerant lines.

• When the evaporator coil becomes frozen. 

The next thing to do after you have discovered that your air conditioner has a refrigerant leak is to contact a professional to help replace or fix the leak. Make sure that you call a professional who you can trust. Unfortunately there are some that will take shortcuts and all they will do is refill the refrigerant without actually repairing the leak. After a week or so you will have to call them again to add the refrigerant. A professional technician should identify and inform you of any leaks beforehand, thus helping you save time and money. 

Repairing a refrigerant leak is very expensive. Therefore you need to weight your options and decide whether you want to fix the leak or replace the whole air conditioner. Sometimes it is cheaper to replace the entire central air conditioner instead of repairing leaks now and then.

There are two major types of central AC used. There is Freon (R22) and Puron (R410a). Mind you refrigerant is very costly; for instance, the Freon brand ranges from $75 to $100 per of refrigerant. Also, ensure that you do not attempt to carry the repair on your own. This is because refrigerant is a toxic chemical that can cause breathing problem and even fatal, cause death. You can only attempt to do it on your own if you are licensed and certified to handle refrigerant.

For a consultation and quote contact us at Cool Bear Services today at (561) 572-3636

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