Now that summer is here, there are some homeowners who wonder if they need to refill or recharge their system’s air conditioner refrigerant.

Many people wonder why more refrigerant is needed. The answer is pretty simple – a leak has occurred somewhere in the refrigerant line. If your system is low on this refrigerant, you need to make sure the technician you call for repairs actually finds and fixes the leak, rather than just “topping off” your refrigerant.

What is Air Conditioner Refrigerant (aka Coolant)?

To know if you need more refrigerant, you also need to know how the refrigerant process works and why recharging the refrigerant may work. Put simply, the refrigerant is the fluid used for transferring heat from one location to another.

The refrigerant circulates through the system, helping it to pull the heat out of your home and then releasing it outside. It’s important for the refrigerant levels to remain at a fixed amount in the system. If this doesn’t happen, the process won’t work.

What Type of Refrigerant Does Your AC System Use?

The type of refrigerant you are going to use is dependent on the model and the make of the unit. If your AC system was manufactured prior to 210, then it likely uses HCFC-22 (R-22) refrigerant. Wile the R-22 refrigerant is still used for servicing systems, the installation and manufacture of new systems that require this registration was prohibited.

The alternative material used is R-410A, which is an ozone friendly refrigerant. In most cases, you can find the type of refrigerant used in your system on the nameplate present on your outside condenser.

Because the refrigerant operates through a closed look, you should neve run out or run low. If the system has started to blow warm air, then it may be necessary to add more refrigerant. However, to prevent this from happening again and again, you are going to have to repair the leak first.

Why is a Professional Needed to Recharge the Refrigerant? 

To put it simply, refrigerant is quite dangerous and there are several laws that govern how it is used. The risks that are involved with handling and using refrigerant include blindness, asphyxiation, flammability, toxicity and other potential physical and health hazards.

The Laws Against Handling Air Conditioner Refrigerant

It’s important for a refrigerant to be handled by the professionals only. There are strict requirements to repair leaks, how the old refrigerant is disposed of, and the addition of new refrigerant.

Not only is the handling of refrigerants dangerous, it’s also against the law if you haven’t been certified to do so.

Call the Pros to Learn More

If you believe the refrigerant is low in your system or if you don’t know why there is no cool air being produced, it’s a good idea to reach out to the professional technicians. This is going to help ensure the problem is fixed and that the same issues don’t continue to happen again and again.