One of the most common service calls HVAC Service companies get is a complaint that the customer’s AC is low on Freon. Or they “need to have their unit recharged”. While this might seem normal and expected to the average person, it isn’t how it’s supposed to be!
How Freon Works
Freon in itself is simply a refrigerant, or coolant. It’s a gas. This gas refrigerant is cycled through your air conditioner, starting with the ac compressor. Once the Freon is compressed (and made extremely hot), it passes through a set of coils which converts the gas into a liquid (and cools the Freon to a nice low temperature). The cool Freon (now liquid) is forced through an expansion valve where it is again converted into a gas. Then, this now cool Freon gas travels through another set of coils (in the building). A fan blows air from inside the home or building against and through these coils that are located inside. The Freon absorbs all of the heat from that air and then that cool air is released back into the home or building. This is where your cool air comes from.
So, Why Is My AC Low on Freon?
Throughout the cooling process, there should not be any Freon that is lost. Your ac unit is a closed system. And, Freon is not “used up” or consumed like gasoline for your vehicle. Your ac unit simply cycles the Freon through each of the steps involved in the cooling process. Therefore, having to “charge” your ac once a year or numerous times a year is not normal.
Then why is your AC low on Freon? It’s a sign that there is a Freon leak somewhere.
Tip: An ac freezing up is a common sign that your ac is low on Freon.
What’s the Next Step?
Rather than having to add Freon to your air conditioning unit repeatedly, it’s a good idea to have your ac repair company come out and troubleshoot the problem. If the leak or leaks can be repaired, then that will save you a lot of unnecessary expenses down the line. Continually adding Freon to a leaking system is essentially throwing money away.
If the Freon leak(s) cannot be repaired due to their location or if they can’t be found for some reason, then it would be wise to at least consider purchasing a new unit. Many other variables can have an impact on this decision as well, such as:
- The age of your current unit
- Other problems and expenses concerning the unit
- The type of Freon used (R22 vs R410)
- And many other variables
Feel free to check out our article titled “Should I Replace My Air Conditioner?” for more information concerning this decision. It goes into far more detail!
With all that said, if it is a small leak and you only have to add Freon every few years or more, it’s probably not that big of a deal. But if it’s a common occurrence, it would definitely be a good idea to consider the available options of repair or replacement.
Hope This Helps!
We hope this information has helped you understand more of how Freon works, and how having an ac unit that is continuously low on Freon is not normal. If you would like more information or if you’d like us to come out and troubleshoot a problem you are having, feel free to give us a call at (731) 300-1030. We service Jackson, TN and the surrounding areas.
At Cagle Service Heating and Air, your satisfaction is our goal. We look forward to serving you!