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Believing This Common Myth Could Hurt Your Air Conditioner

common-air-conditioner-mythHave you ever been told by an HVAC professional that your Freon—refrigerant—needs to be recharged on a regular basis? If so, you’ve been given false information. Your air conditioning system is supplied with enough refrigerant upon installation to ideally last throughout its entire lifespan.

So if you’re losing refrigerant then yes it needs to be refilled. But the source of the loss must be found and repaired so that you don’t continue to lose this fluid. Refrigerant leaks can lead to a number of problems for your cooling system. Taking care of a leak right away could help you avoid the worst of Highlands Ranch, CO air conditioning repairs.

The Role of Refrigerant

Why is refrigerant so important? It essentially allows your air conditioning system to function as it should. Your air conditioner cools down your home by removing heat from the inside through the evaporator coil. The heat is then moved to the outside cabinet where it is released.

Refrigerant is what carries this heat from one place to another, and is essential to the functionality of your air conditioner. As it runs through your AC, it shifts between a liquid and gas state, and absorbs heat during the evaporation stage then releases it during the condensation stage. Many people believe that this is where refrigerant dissipates, although it does not, and it should not.

What Happens When You Have a Leak

Since your air conditioning system is designed to hold a particular amount of refrigerant, when it begins to lose it, the system will start working ineffectively. Less refrigerant means that not as much heat can be absorbed, and therefore you won’t feel the cooling relief that you should feel from your AC.

No matter how slowly or quickly refrigerant exits your system, it will cause your AC to deteriorate. For example, the compressor could fail without a sufficient amount of refrigerant, causing it to overheat. If this happens, it will need to be replaced—one of the most expensive air conditioning repairs there is.

Another possible problem is with your evaporator coil—once the evaporator coil encounters problems absorbing heat, it won’t cool the remaining refrigerant down enough, and ice will begin to form on the coil.

Don’t Try Scraping Ice Off Yourself

Speaking of ice, this is a lot more serious of a problem than you may realize. Ice serves as an insulator between the refrigerant the air that it is supposed to cool. This keeps it from operating the way it’s supposed to. As a result, your AC system will try to work harder to do its job, which increases wear and tear, and strain.

The ice itself can also cause damage—it can warp the evaporator coil and damage components that are vulnerable to water, such as electrical components. It’s important, however, that you not try to remove the ice on your own. Not only could you potentially damage your air conditioner, but you may only be providing a temporary band aid to an ongoing problem.

Look no further than APC Plumbing & Heating for all of your air conditioning service needs. Contact us ASAP—we have someone in your Highlands Ranch neighborhood today!

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