What’s So Special About Air Conditioning Refrigerant And How Can You Spot A Leak?

Air conditioning works both by cooling the air circulating through your home, and also removing the moisture in the air. To do this, the coils in your air con unit need to be very cold, and to achieve this, they have a refrigerant inside. This liquid changes in state when compressed from a gas to a liquid and in so doing, cools down. Previous refrigerant used is called R-22 but has been identified as being bad for the world’s ozone layer which protects us from harmful UV rays from the sun. R-22 is now being phased out and is now a banned refrigerant. New air conditioning units now have the refrigerant R-410-A which does not contain any chlorine.

As your air conditioning unit is a closed one, there should be no need to top up the level of refrigerant. However, over time, and as an HVAC unit ages, so it becomes susceptible to developing leaks in the refrigeration system. If your unit begins to function less efficiently, then a loss of refrigerant could be one of the causes. This is a matter for a qualified technician, so a call to us here at Petrocelli Services should be made.

To spot if there is a coolant problem, check your AC unit and locate two copper pipes. If the larger one isn’t sweating or cool to the touch when the system is in operation, chances are there is no refrigerant or not enough in it. While you are there, you should also check the tubing and pipes to see if there are any signs of gurgling or hissing.

We cannot stress enough that if your air conditioning unit develops a problem, it isn’t always going to be fatal or cost a small fortune to put right if you have it attended to immediately. However, the longer you put off having the problem fixed, the more likely it will turn into something more serious and definitely costlier.

If you’re worried, give us a call and we’ll be able to give you some idea of the likely cost based on the symptoms you present to us, and we’ll be able to come out and fix the problem before it gets worse.


**Petrocelli Services is a full service HVAC company providing Air Conditioning and Heating installation and repair services for Austin, Round Rock, Cedar Park and surrounding areas.

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