ac refrigerant infographicIt’s that time again, Summer is just about here. The weather in Louisiana can be brutal and having a reliable air conditioning system in your home or business is paramount. When your air conditioning system isn’t blowing as cool as it seems like it should, our customers often wonder “does my system need Freon?” The term “Freon” is actually a trademarked name by Dupont, Freon is actually a refrigerant that comes in multiple types. The most common type of refrigerant in residential A/C systems is called R-22. R-22 is being discontinued and will be almost completely phased out in the U.S. by 2020. In fact, all systems built since 2010 have not been allowed to use it.

In general, your air conditioning system should never leak refrigerant. Air conditioning systems are thoroughly sealed and if leaks are occurring there is a problem. At that point, you’ll want to contact a qualified HVAC repair company such as Forest Air, LLC to address the issue. In cases where your A/C is actually low on Freon, it is not uncommon for the indoor coil to actually freeze, similar to a block of ice. As that ice melts, you will find water leaking in the furnace and on the floor. As you can imagine, these issues can become severe, but often times service calls about Freon being low are simply a clogged air filter. To avoid this, make sure you replace your air filter every month.

If your A/C is truly low on refrigerant, here are a few things to look for:

Signs A/C Is Low On Refrigerant

  • You feel low airflow coming from registers
  • Air starts to feel warmer from registers
  • Water on the floor by your furnace
  • Ice building up on copper lines from A/C to the indoor coil
  • High electrical usage
  • House takes longer than normal to cool off

The above are typical signs, but remember the majority of problems are something else besides low refrigerant. Having your A/C cleaned and tested annually by a HVAC company can save you a LOT of money over the years.

Newer air conditioning units will typically save consumers nearly 30% in operating cost and will use a newer, more environmentally friendly refrigerant called R410a. Because R-410A contains no chlorine, it is considered ozone-friendly. If your A/C just isn’t cooling like it used to, it might need more refrigerant. Give us a call and we’ll come take a look and if your system is an older model that uses R-22, it might be time to upgrade to a newer R-410A system for the reasons laid out in this post.