We’re glad to know that you want to look out for the operation of your air conditioning system over the summer. The most important step is to always see that you have spring maintenance scheduled for it. You should also change the air filters regularly (we have a post that goes into this in more detail). However, taking care of the refrigerant (a.k.a. “Freon”) inside the air conditioner is not a job you need to take on, and for two very good reasons.
The first reason that you won’t need to refill an AC’s refrigerant is because under normal circumstances the refrigerant level will remain the same.
People often make the mistake of thinking that refrigerant is a type of energy source for the air conditioner, its “fuel,” and the AC can run out of it over time. But the energy source for an air conditioner is electricity, which it won’t run out of as long as there’s power to the house. The refrigerant takes care of a different job rather than supplying energy: it moves energy, thermal energy, from one place to another. As the refrigerant goes through a cycle of evaporation and condensation, it absorbs heat from inside the home and then exhausts it outside. It doesn’t dissipate as it does that, and its level remains identical.
An AC can lose refrigerant if leaks develop along its refrigerant lines. This is a serious repair dilemma, and one that requires professional and licensed HVAC technicians to fix as soon as possible. They will locate the leaks, seal them, and then handle the job of “recharging” the refrigerant, i.e. putting back in the amount of refrigerant that was lost. If you find that your AC is losing cooling power, the problem may be refrigerant leaks, and you need to call HVAC experts right away.
If you need air conditioning repair this summer in Yucaipa, CA or elsewhere in the Inland Empire and the Desert Communities, call Russell’s Heating & Air Conditioning. We offer 24-hour emergency services.