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Should You Top Off Your HVAC Refrigerant?

Charging a residential heat pump system with refrigerant

When warm weather approaches, homeowners usually begin to feel the need to care for their air conditioning system. This time typically prompts many to wonder whether it’s time to top off their HVAC with refrigerant and whether their HVAC system works properly. Read on to learn more about whether or not you should top off your refrigerant. 

What Is an HVAC Refrigerant?

Your HVAC system relies on several technologies to keep your home comfortable. One technology is air conditioning refrigerant. This heat transfer fluid moves the warm air in your home and sends it outside, bringing cool air into your home. The HVAC system then recirculates the cool air throughout your home. 

The liquid refrigerant circulates through your air conditioning system, and since the refrigerant never leaves the AC unit, the fluid level does not change. Therefore, HVAC systems do not need refrigerant top-offs. The only time the fluid needs replacing is if the HVAC system leaks, which requires speedy repair and replacement service. 

Should You Top Off Your HVAC Refrigerant?

The only time you will need to replace your HVAC refrigerant is if your system has a refrigerant leak. The chemical refrigerant circulates throughout the system, so the amount should remain the same. 

When your HVAC system has the correct amount of refrigerant, it functions properly. The only time an HVAC system performs problematically is when the amounts of refrigerant change. 

The refrigerant in an air conditioning system is like a vehicle tire filled with air. The tire stays filled with air unless the tire leaks. When the tire leaks air, it doesn’t function properly. The same goes for HVAC systems with leaking refrigerants. 

You need someone first to repair the leak before they can refill the refrigerant since this is the only way you’ll have an effectively functioning HVAC system.

If technicians do not repair the leak, any refrigerant put into the HVAC system will cause more problems. Homeowners can continue to refill the lost refrigerant, but the problem will still exist. 

How To Tell If Your HVAC Has a Leak?

Fortunately, you won’t need tools or special training to determine if your HVAC system has a problem. A certified technician is the best choice for repairs if these problems arise:

  • When the air conditioning is on, hot air blows from the ducts, and you’ve set the thermostat to a cool temperature. 
  • You notice condensation or puddled water on the floor near your furnace. 
  • Your home does not cool off as effectively as it once did. 
  • The copper air conditioning lines have ice on them. 
  • Your electric bills are higher than usual because your HVAC system cannot effectively cool your home. 

Refrigerant Leaks? We Got Your Back

Homeowners with air conditioning units should not need refrigerant top-off service unless their HVAC systems leak. UFirst HVAC can help with air conditioning and HVAC concerns, including leaking refrigerant in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Glendale, and the surrounding areas. 

Our licensed and insured technicians provide prompt and effective services with guaranteed quality and parts. We offer upfront, flat-rate pricing and never charge for overtime. Our technicians can assist you with questions regarding whether you should top off your HVAC system. Give us a call today for a free quote and the answers to your air conditioning questions.