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Frequently Asked Questions About AC Refrigerant | C. Woods Company

Refrigerants Explained

Owning a home requires a certain amount of knowledge. Homes are complex structures with various utilities that need a certain literacy level to maintain and safely operate. The air conditioner in any home can be a tremendous blessing when everything is running properly, but it can be a financial pitfall if things are working right. 

Unfortunately, air conditioners are largely a mystery to most homeowners. Besides changing air filters every three months, most homeowners are content to leave AC work to professionals. While getting help from the experts is always a great plan, it never hurts to know what’s happening behind the scenes. 

Refrigerant is one of the mysteries of air conditioners that homeowners should have at least some knowledge about. This article dispels some of the mystique around this specific class of chemicals. 

How to Decide Between Refrigerants 

Refrigerant is necessary for every single air conditioner ever manufactured. Chemicals designed to be refrigerants are selected because of their ability to transfer heat between the evaporator and condenser coils in a unit. Unfortunately, most refrigerants used in the last few decades have a reputation for being pollutants, so new, safer chemicals are constantly being developed. 

A consequence of the race to find the perfect refrigerant is that homeowners find that replacing their AC is necessary more often. Every air conditioner is designed for a specific type of refrigerant, and it can’t be changed. Freon, or R-22 refrigerant, is a great example. Before 2010, Freon was the most common refrigerant. Now it has been outlawed in favor of safer refrigerants. Luckily, homeowners don’t need to know what type of refrigerant to use. Their AC contractor can guide them through the process of upgrading the AC or finding the right refrigerant. 

Why Do Refrigerants Leak Out of ACs?rust

Like every system, problems can occur. This is especially true in high-pressure systems like AC. Think of how many problems occur with tires on cars. Now imagine that only under several times more pressure. 

Pinhole leaks can occur in an air conditioner’s coils. The cause of these leaks in most cases is indoor pollutants that turn to acid on the delicate copper lines that make up the evaporator coil in an air conditioner. Air conditioner maintenance is an important step toward protecting coils from acid that causes pinhole leaks. Whether filters need to be changed more often or one should clean evaporator coils annually, both can help alleviate these potential problems. 




Know the Signs That Refrigerant is Low

Refrigerant handling is tightly regulated due to environmental regulations. As a result, any time a homeowner suspects a refrigerant leak, a professional will be the one to determine if there is a problem. Homeowners should be aware of the signs that refrigerant is low so they know when to call for help. The signs that refrigerant is low are: 
  • Long cooling cycles
  • Inadequate cooling
  • Frozen coils
  • Leaks or water spots around the AC or condensate drain
  • Utility bills are higher than usual
  • Hissing and gurgling noises 

About C. Woods Company

Don’t go without cool air for another day! C. Woods Company has over 60 years of experience fixing air conditioners suffering from low refrigerant. Call today for emergency AC service or to set up an appointment in Tyler, TX.