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How Does Low Refrigerant Affect Air Conditioning?

Refrigerant is an essential part of air conditioning operation. Without it, an AC cannot carry out heat exchange: the shifting of heat from one location (inside your house) to another (outside your house). It takes only a small loss of refrigerant in an air conditioner will lead to many problems. When you encounter AC refrigerant loss, summon professional repairs right away.

No matter what time of day or night you need air conditioning repair in Sicklerville, NJ, count on SPS Mechanical Inc. to answer your call. We have NATE-certified technicians on staff with the training to address any trouble in your AC, from low refrigerant to burned -out motors.

The Problems of Low Refrigerant

Refrigerant is a chemical blend designed to make an easy phase transition between liquid and gas and back again using only a small amount of energy. The transitions absorb and release heat, and this makes refrigerant the ideal vessel for moving heat from indoors to outdoors.

The refrigerant must stay at a specific charge (i.e. level) in an air conditioner that is balanced to the system’s size. During normal operation, refrigerant does not “get used up.” However, refrigerant can leak from an AC due to damage, corrosion, and loose connections. When the charge drops, it affects the air conditioner’s cooling power.

Refrigerant at a lower charge than it should be inhibits the indoor coil from absorbing the proper amount of heat. This will not only reduce the cooling ability of the AC, it will cause the evaporator coil to begin to ice over because the refrigerant’s temperature is not rising high enough. The more the coil develops ice across it, the less it can absorb heat, leading to a downward cycle that will eventually end in no cooling power at all.

Low refrigerant also damages the compressor, the “heart” of the air conditioner where the liquid refrigerant is squeezed into a high pressure gas. The compressor is designed to match the refrigerant charge, and if it drops, the compressor will start to overwork and will soon break. Replacing the compressor of an AC is an expensive repair that you want to avoid at all costs.

Detecting and Repairing Refrigerant Loss

There are a few signs of loss of refrigerant: reduced cooling, ice appearing along the indoor coil, and hissing sounds. At the first indication of any of these, shut off the system and call for a repair technician.

Repairs for refrigerant loss involve finding the source of the leak, fixing it, and then recharging the refrigerant to its correct amount. The new refrigerant must be the correct blend, and the system cannot be overcharged (which is as damaging as being undercharged). Always rely on trained professionals for this task.

When low refrigerant afflicts your home’s comfort, let SPS Mechanical Inc. be your HVAC company for quality air conditioning service in Sicklerville, NJ. Give us a call today!

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