Refrigerant Recharge or Replacement

AC outside of house

Do home AC units need to be recharged?

An air conditioner has a lot of components and moving parts, along with the refrigerant. What is refrigerant? Your air conditioner uses a refrigerant that pulls the heat out of the air and transfers it into the compressor. When the refrigerant is low or out, the heat doesn’t transfer, and that is when the air conditioner refrigerant recharge is needed. Actually, a refrigerant recharge isn’t what is happening. It is actually refilling. 

If an air conditioner technician tells you that your air conditioner needs a refrigerant recharge, it isn’t because it has used it up but because it has a leak.  Adding more refrigerant to your air conditioner is like adding air to a tire that has a hole. It is merely going to leak out. 

Disregarding repairing the refrigerant leak is only costing you more money because the air conditioner will need refrigerant again. Another concern that refrigerant is escaping into the air and depleting the ozone, damaging the climate. What is the difference between Freon vs refrigerant? 

Refrigerant is the product, and Freon is the brand name. Think of a tissue is the product, and Kleenex is the brand name.  Freon is a trademark product of DuPont. There are other brands of refrigerant recharge, which more consumers are turning to because of the concern of the environment. The following are the four most suitable refrigerants to replace the Freon brand: 

  • R-134A
  • R-407C
  • R-404A
  • R-410A

If a technician has advised you that your air conditioner needs a refrigerant recharge, ask if they have these other brands and will they work on your air conditioner. Some air conditioners have to be retrofit to take a different brand of refrigerant recharge. At that point, you may be better off replacing your unit if there is a leak. 

Can you recharge an air conditioner?

HVAC air conditioning and windows air conditioners can have a refrigerant recharge. However, if there is a leak, it will escape. A small leak will take some time for that refrigerant recharge to escape, and if it leaks fast, then you’ll know you have a large leak. Keep in mind that while this refrigerant recharge is leaking, it is not environmentally friendly and is depleting the ozone.

How often do you need to add Freon to home AC?

If everything within your HVAC air conditioner is working correctly, it shouldn’t ever need a refrigerant recharge. The only time an air conditioner “needs a refrigerant recharge is when it has a leak, and as we’ve mentioned earlier, refrigerant recharge your air conditioner is like adding air to a tire with a hole. It will simply leak out again if you don’t fix the leak. We aren’t saying a refrigerant recharge doesn’t have its purpose, why else would the product and tools be on the market if there wasn’t a reason? However, we can’t state this enough; if the leak isn’t found and fixed, a refrigerant recharge is a waste of money and time.

Here are five indicators that your air conditioner needs a refrigerant recharge.”

  • The air conditioner is continuously running: The refrigerant absorbs heat from the inside of your house and sends it outside. When there isn’t any or enough coolant, it can’t do that will keep attempting to cool the warm air inside your home. That leads to the following fact: Higher energy bills.
  • Higher energy bills: Air conditioning is going to increase your energy bills some, that is just a given during the summer months. However, if it seems to have jumped up more than it has before, there is something wrong. This leads us to the following fact: Closed vents.
  • Air isn’t cold: When an air conditioner doesn’t have enough refrigerant, it can’t absorb the heat from your home. This means only warm air will be coming out of the vents, and usually a reduced amount of airflow. What this is doing is building ice up inside the air conditioner, which leads us to the following fact: Iced refrigerant lines. 
  • Iced over refrigerant lines: Your next step is to check the component outside your home, and if the refrigerant lines going into the house have ice on them, your air conditioner needs a refrigerant recharge or replacing. 
  • Bubbling/Hissing noises: A small refrigerant leaks are silent, so if you can hear any bubbling or hissing sounds, you need to call a professional air conditioning repair service immediately.

Note: A good air conditioning technician will advise you that your system has a leak and give you a quote for repairing the leak, not just “top you off” with a refrigerant recharge. Some repair companies will be glad to keep returning to “top you off” because they make money from that service. Use a reputable air conditioning service. 

Can you recharge Home AC yourself? and How do I recharge my home AC unit? are two popular questions. Why? Because everybody likes to save money! Even air conditioning professionals understand that! 

We wouldn’t be true to ourselves if we didn’t state this: Performing a refrigerant recharge can be dangerous. These cans of refrigerant and the refrigerant lines on your air conditioner are under high pressure. The refrigerant itself is sold only to a licensed air conditioning professional by law set forth by the Environmental Protection Administration. 

If you can find somebody to buy the refrigerant from, you’ll need special equipment and tools to perform the refrigerant recharge procedure. If you are determined to attempt this yourself, and you don’t know how to refrigerant recharge, we offer the following: 

  • Make sure you purchase the right refrigerant for your air conditioner. There are different kinds and using the wrong one could make the situation worse. 
  • Check all the components inside the air condition and compressor, making sure it is all in working order and clean.  
  • Plug the service valve from your refrigerant kit into a compressor line in the air conditioner unit and follow the instructions in the kit and attached to the service valve.
  • The refrigerant kit should have a small valve connector.  Plug the remaining compressor lines from the air conditioner compressor then follow the instructions in the refrigerant kit.
  • Attach the refrigerant container to the two valves you installed and follow the instructions in the refrigerant kit, securing the container between the valves. 
  • After you are finished installing the refrigerant, turn your air conditioning on full blast so that the refrigerant is forced into the air conditioning system. Once the refrigerant is loaded, turn off the system and remove the refrigerant container and valves. 
newly recharged AC unit

Are there any refrigerant recharge benefits?

Yes, and the first one is the air conditioner will blow cold air, which is what you want your air conditioner to do, right?  If the leak is fixed before the refrigerant recharge is done, it could give you another two or three summers of cold air from the air conditioner. If the leak isn’t fixed, it will get you through the current summer, maybe.  Basically, a refrigerant recharge is a band-aid to a more complicated and expensive procedure. Call (714) 464-6622 today for refrigerant recharge in Orange, CA.