Summer time is almost here. It is getting warmer outside and you will soon be using your a/c. The most common question by homeowners is "does my a/c need freon?". First thing is "Freon" is a trademark name byDupont. Freon is actually regrigerant of many types. Most common residential a/c systems use R-22. Saying freon is like saying Xerox instead of copy machine. I am going to call it Freon for now. People think because the air coming from there registers feels to warm, or there house isn't cooling off fast enough it must need freon.
Freon should not leak from your a/c. Air conditioning systems are sealed and should never leak. This isn't like putting gas in your car. If freon has leaked there is a problem. You need to have a qualified HVAC technician repair the leak or else this will keep happening. When an A/C gets low on freon it is very normal for the indoor coil to freeze to a block of ice. Then when that ice melts you will get water leaking in the furnace and on the floor. Water will damage the furnace and just make your problems worse. Majority of service calls for "my a/c is low on freon" turns out to be just a plugged air filter. It is important that you change your furnace filter every month if you use a standard 1" thick filter.
Signs A/C is low on Refrigerant
- You feel low airflow coming from registers
- Air starts to feel warmer from registers
- Water on floor by your furnace
- Ice building up on copper lines from a/c to indoor coil
- High electrical usage
- House takes longer than normal to cool off
Now above are typical signs, but remember the majority of problems are something else beside low on refrigerant. Having your a/c cleaned and tested annually by a HVAC company can save you a lot of money over the years.
One new fact to keep in mind is R22 refrigerant is in the process of being discontinued. 2010 all manufactures had to stop using R22 in there new equipment. As this happens the cost of R22 will keep going up. So if you have an a/c leaking this is just another reason you want to get it fixed so it doesn't happen again. New a/c units will typically cost 30% less to run and will use the new enviromentally friendly refrigerant called R410a. Now in 2012 the EPA has reduced R22 production more than expected and this has caused the price to drastically rise.