Refrigerant, sometimes called Freon, is essential to your air conditioning system — without it, the AC simply won’t work. This is because refrigerant is what runs through the coils and pulls heat from your home’s air to be released outside. Since it’s so important, many homeowners worry about their AC’s refrigerant, specifically whether it will run out.
Refrigerant Should Never Run Out
Unlike gas or oil in a car, your AC’s refrigerant should never run out or need replacing. Although it keeps your AC working, refrigerant is not fuel that gets used up. Rather, it moves through the coils in a process of evaporation and condensation that cools the air around it. Theoretically, refrigerant should last the entire lifespan of your AC system.
It’s important to remember that, while refrigerant shouldn’t run out, it can. The only reason your air conditioner’s refrigerant levels might change is if there is a leak in the copper coils or at connection points. This is a serious problem that will keep the AC system from working properly.
The best way to ensure your AC doesn’t have any refrigerant leaks throughout its lifetime is to schedule regular AC tune-ups each spring. During a tune-up, a technician will check the refrigerant charge (amount). Lower than normal charge is an indicator that refrigerant is leaking out of your system over time and allows you to address the problem sooner. This is one of many scenarios where tune-ups catch needed AC repairs before they become big problems.
Beware of Scams
It’s important to understand that refrigerant will never need to be “topped off.” If there’s less refrigerant in the coils than there should be, simply adding refrigerant will only fix the problem temporarily and is not the proper solution. If an HVAC technician ever tells you that they had to add refrigerant to your AC, it’s likely that they are either not a trustworthy technician.
Some dishonest technicians will do this to charge you extra for a service they didn’t provide, while others may not have the necessary knowledge to repair the issue properly. Either way, choose a different HVAC contractor in the future, and always make sure the technicians in your home are licensed and credible.
Champion AC is proud to be the most trusted HVAC company in the San Antonio area. We pride ourselves on always being honest and fair with our customers, and our mission is to provide the highest quality comfort solutions at a fair price. That’s the Champion way.
Ben is a retired Combat Controller with the United States Air Force. He started Champion AC in 2007. Ben is originally from the Mississippi Gulf Coast. He is happily married and an avid fan of the San Antonio Spurs and New Orleans Saints.