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Understanding the Relationship between Refrigerant and Your AC

One of the most common questions we get during the summer is, “does my air conditioner need more refrigerant?” Most homeowners assume that their air conditioning systems run much like a car does: a car functions by burning fuel, so naturally an air conditioner should operate by burning refrigerant, right? No, actually. This is one of the biggest misconceptions there is about refrigerant.

The fact of the matter is that air conditioners do occasionally need refills of refrigerant, however when they do it’s because there is a leak or some other problem with your AC system. Below, we’ve discussed how exactly your air conditioner uses its refrigerant and what can cause it to need a refill.

The Role of Refrigerant

Refrigerant is not just one single fluid. In fact it’s actually comprised of various different fluids that all do the same thing. When your air conditioner is professionally installed, it’s supplied with enough refrigerant to ideally last throughout its lifespan. This is called being “charged” with refrigerant.

When your AC system is operating, it evaporates the refrigerant fluids in order to siphon heat from the air inside your home. That refrigerant gas then travels outside to the condenser coil, where it is condensed back into a liquid. The collected heat is then released out of the home. The important factor to note is that refrigerant is never actually consumed by your air conditioner. Rather, it cycles back and forth between the two units to move heat from one area to another.

When Leaks Occur

Your air conditioner should not need more refrigerant unless a leak has developed somewhere along the refrigerant line. These leaks are not common, but when they do occur, they pose a serious threat to your cooling system.

Refrigerant leaks deplete your air conditioner of the fluids it needs to function. As your system’s refrigerant levels drop, the system will have more and more problems, until eventually it breaks down. Call for repairs right away if you notice any fluid dripping from your cooling system.

For comprehensive air conditioning services in Ogden, UT, call your HVAC experts at Rentmeister Total Home Service today!

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