How often does an air conditioner need refrigerant? Baggett Heating and Cooling explains why your system doesn’t need refrigerant added regularly.
Every year our technicians encounter homeowners who believe their AC or heat pump should be recharged regularly. We often hear, “The last guy who serviced it added a little freon each time he came.” The truth is, an air conditioner or heat pump is a closed circuit and comes from the manufacturer with the correct amount of refrigerant they need. Once the system is installed correctly* it should never need refrigerant added unless it has leaked out.
Signs of a refrigerant leak:
- The air coming out of vents is too cool (heat pump) or too warm (AC)
- Higher than normal electric bills
- Ice on refrigerant lines
- Frozen evaporator coil (ice will block air flow as well)
- A hissing or bubbling sound coming from the refrigerant lines
If you believe your system is leaking, here’s what to do:
Step 1: Call a professional
- An EPA certification is required for our technicians to handle refrigerants
- Handling refrigerants requires knowledge to do so safely for the technician and the environment
- Knowing how to diagnose and repair refrigerant issues requires specialized training. Even so-called “professionals” clearly don’t quite understand this situation. Remember what “the last guy” told you? Our point exactly.
Step 2: Be prepared and have some “Systems Knowledge”
- After reading this blog, you are prepared. You won’t fall for the scam that you just need to “recharge the system.” While simply adding refrigerant is an option, you NOW know it is not a permanent fix. If the leak is not repaired, the refrigerant will only leak out again. The inconvenience of another breakdown and another repair bill is on the way.
- You should expect options (and will get them from Baggett) on how to proceed once a refrigerant leak is diagnosed. The common options are:
- Recharge the system (no warranty, not guaranteed)
- Recharge and introduce a “leak stop” additive (no warranty, not guaranteed)
- Repair the leak and recharge the system
- Replace the system
- Refrigerant repairs are among the most expensive repairs we make to systems. The options range from hundreds to thousands of dollars and, depending on the age and condition of the system, will often result in the replacement of the system.
- About 60% of your installations are financed by homeowners. Baggett offers financing options (upon approval) to make the replacement of the system an affordable monthly payment.
*The refrigeration circuit of HVAC equipment with an indoor and outdoor section are connected by a “line set.” When correctly installed, the technicians calculate how much additional refrigerant needs to be added depending on the length and size of the line set.
Baggett Heating & Cooling has served the Clarksville/Montgomery County area for over 40 years. Contact us by phone, text, or email.