Common Refrigerant Questions

Refrigerant: What You Need to Know

If a home’s air conditioner is running, but the Charlotte house is not cooling off, it can signal a problem with the unit. But, it might not be an issue with an AC component – it could indicate the system needs more refrigerant

Refrigerant is essential to the effectiveness of an air conditioner. Residing in the coils of an air conditioner, the refrigerant absorbs heat and provides cool air for the AC unit to blast into the home. An air conditioner cannot properly cool a home without refrigerant or coolant. 

Homeowners should understand the basics of refrigerant, including what type their AC unit needs, how to spot a leak, and when to call in the HVAC technicians. 

How to Tell Which Refrigerant an AC Uses

One of the first refrigerant facts property owners need to know is what type of refrigerant their AC unit needs. Homeowners might not realize it, but air conditioners require a specific type of refrigerant to operate correctly. Refrigerants are not interchangeable. Using the wrong type can damage an air conditioner. 

The type of refrigerant a system needs is usually labeled outside the AC unit. Homeowners can also check the owner’s manual, which should be listed there. If property owners are not certain, they should ask a technician during an annual air conditioner tune-up. 

Homeowners also need to pay attention to the age of their system. If the air conditioner was built before 2010, it could use R-22 or freon. This substance has been banned from being used in new units as R22 refrigerant can cause damage to the ozone layer. In this case, a technician may recommend replacing the AC unit. 

What Causes Refrigerant Leaks?


A common issue homeowners can encounter is refrigerant leaks. Numerous issues, including aging, can cause these. As units get older, they can show more signs of wear and tear and corrosion, leading to small holes in the tubing and leaks. 

Damage to the air conditioner or malfunctioning components can also cause leaks. Installation issues can result in leaks if the system isn’t handled properly or if components like valves or coils are broken.

Failing to schedule routine maintenance on an air conditioner can also result in refrigerant leaks. Without a yearly tune-up, professionals do not have the chance to inspect the unit and repair small problems before they become larger. They can use refrigerant leak detectors to catch these problems early during maintenance services.

When Is it Time to Call a Professional?


Refrigerant leaks and other issues, like frozen coils, can prevent air conditioners from working properly and keep homes at an ideal temperature. To avoid problems and to prevent a hot and stuffy house, homeowners need to call an HVAC contractor at the first signs of a refrigerant problem.

In addition to noticing their house is warmer than usual, homeowners should also watch for the following:

  • The air conditioner is running continuously without turning off
  • There are hissing or gurgling sounds coming from the system
  • There is ice on the refrigerant lines, causing a frozen AC coil

If a homeowner notices these problems, they need to call a professional to schedule repairs. 

About Air Care Heating and Cooling

When Charlotte residents have an HVAC issue, they must fix it the Air Care Heating and Cooling way. They offer 24/7 emergency services, upfront pricing, and guarantee satisfaction with every appointment. Call them today for HVAC services in Mint Hill, NC.