Too Much Refrigerant in the AC? Yes, That’s a Problem!

air-conditioner-unit-being-repairedIt’s October, but the summer heat continues to hang around. That mean’s air conditioners are still running, and in a much higher danger of suffering from a malfunction because of all the stress they’ve been through from the summer and then the recent hurricane. We like to remind our customers to always stay on the watch for air conditioning repair needs at the end of the season. You never want to let an air conditioner go without repairs just because you think you may not need it for a few weeks.

The Overcharged Air Conditioner Problem

No, we don’t mean being charged too much money for an air conditioner (although you don’t want that to happen, either). Overcharged for an AC means the system has more chemical refrigerant in it than it should. An air conditioner is installed with a set amount of refrigerant, referred to as its charge. This refrigerant should remain at the same charge during the system’s life. Refrigerant isn’t a type of fuel the air conditioner absorbs as it runs. It’s the heat exchange fluid that allows the AC to move heat from inside the house to outside the house. The refrigerant goes through a process of evaporating and condensing, never dissipating in the process.

If there is ever more refrigerant in the system than its factory charge, it spells big trouble for the air conditioner. It changes pressure in the system, which damages components. It also puts the compressor at risk of cold refrigerant entering it (which is called slugging) and mixing with the oil, leading to the compressor burning out. It will also cause the air conditioner to lose cooling power, although people often think the opposite would happen. An overcharged air conditioner will act as if it were a smaller cooling system than it is and fail to meet comfort demands.

How Does an AC Become Overcharged?

One of the most common ways for too much refrigerant to get into an air conditioner is through DIY work. A homeowner notices the AC isn’t cooling the way it used to, so they buy refrigerant and put more in. Never attempt this kind of DIY job! Not only does it risk an overcharged AC, but it can create health hazards. Only licensed technicians can handle refrigerant.

Another way an air conditioner becomes overcharged is because of a poor repair job done by amateurs. If you called in an unlicensed or inexperienced technician to repair an AC that was losing refrigerant to leaks, the technician may end up putting in too much refrigerant to replace what what lost. This is another reason why you must always look to licensed HVAC professionals to handle any repair job for your air conditioning system.

We offer air conditioning service for Corpus Christi, TX, and you can count on us to always recharge the refrigerant in your AC system correctly whenever we handle repairs. If you have an overcharged air conditioner creating issues, contact us to fix the problem and any malfunctions it may have caused.

Justice Air Conditioning & Heating serves Corpus Christi and the surrounding areas.

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