The refrigerant in your HVAC system is the very blood of it. If the heart is the fan, the lungs are the vents then the blood is the refrigerant.
Refrigerant is what allows you to have that wonderfully refreshing cool air pumped into your home on those sweltering summer days, allowing you to sleep and dwell in comfort.
If you find yourself noticing a distinct decrease in your lack of comfort due to the temperature, and you have already checked the thermostat to be sure one of the kids wasn’t playing around with it. Chances are you’re probably low on refrigerant.
Now before you head down to your local HVAC supply store looking for a recharge kit of some Freon, you’re going to need some information.
Most modern HVAC units will have a refrigerant level gauge on the compressor itself and that is a great way to tell. If you’ve recently had a technician out to fix this problem, and refill it but the level has dropped again — then you have a leak somewhere.
Unless you’re qualified, or are feeling adventurous, it’s best to call a professional in to handle tracking down the leak and fixing it. Simply refilling the system every year just isn’t going to cut it. Every time that level of refrigerant drops, your AC system has to work harder to provide the same amount of cooling power than it did before, driving up your costs.
However, if there is no leak, most of the time you can simply recharge the system yourself. If you visit your local HVAC supply store and ask one of the knowledgeable employees about what to do if you are unsure.
There is one thing to keep in mind however, most — if not all — states have regulations regarding the use of Freon. If your system is modern it uses newer types of refrigerants that have zero ozone depletion potential and are perfectly safe to use. So if you can, write down the model number of your unit and bring it in with you to see what type of refrigerant you need to use.
And if you do happen to use Freon, still. All’s not lost. Some states will allow you to refill a system, provided it’s not leaking and is done by a professional.
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