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What Kind of Refrigerant Does My Air Conditioner Need?

If you’ve noticed your air conditioner is staying on longer, struggling to keep your home at your desired temperature, or making bubbling or hissing noises, you might have a refrigerant leak. When your HVAC system leaks refrigerant, it will provide poor cooling performance and raise the humidity in your home. Since AC refrigerant is crucial for your HVAC system’s performance, take a moment to learn why you normally shouldn’t need to refill it and how to know what type your AC needs. 

What Is Home Air Conditioner Refrigerant?

Home air conditioner refrigerant is a chemical compound that runs through a closed system within your HVAC system. As the refrigerant runs through this system, it absorbs heat from your home’s air and transfers the heat outside once the refrigerant reaches your HVAC system’s outdoor unit.

Should You Ever Need to Refill Your AC’s Refrigerant?

Normally, you should never need to refill your AC’s refrigerant, as your AC should only lose a marginal amount over your system’s lifespan. However, AC refrigerant will sometimes need to be refilled if your AC is leaking refrigerant or was installed incorrectly. While you might not immediately notice if your refrigerant levels are low, your AC will perform inefficiently, staying on longer and using more energy to cool your home.

Since refrigerant needs to stay at a precise level for your AC to work correctly, we wouldn’t recommend refilling it yourself if you have a leak. Instead, a trained HVAC technician should first repair your AC to prevent the leakage from continuing and then refill your refrigerant for you.

How Do I Know What Home AC Refrigerant My System Needs?

While you might hear you need more “Freon” when you need to refill your AC’s refrigerant, it’s not the only type of refrigerant used today. In fact, the production and use of Freon, or R-22, has been phased out by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) since it depletes the ozone layer. Due to the EPA’s regulations, HVAC systems made after 2010 no longer use Freon and require a different refrigerant. However, the EPA does allow older systems that rely on R-22 to refill their systems with stockpiled or recycled quantities of the refrigerant.

Due to Freon being phased out, newer systems rely on more environmentally-friendly refrigerants. One of the most commonly used home AC refrigerants is R-410A, better known by its brand name Puron. Besides being better for the environment than R-22, this refrigerant absorbs heat more efficiently. Since so many units manufactured after 2010 use Puron, your AC probably uses it if it’s a newer model.

How Can I Tell Which Refrigerant My AC Uses?

To determine what refrigerant works with your system, you’ll simply need to look for a large plate or sticker on your evaporator or compressor. This plate or label will tell you what refrigerant your system is compatible with. After an HVAC technician reviews this sticker, they should be able to refill your system with the correct refrigerant. 

Remember that you should never refill your system with an incompatible refrigerant, as it can potentially damage your system, hurt your AC’s cooling performance, and, in some cases, even cause explosions or injuries.

Choose Bonney for AC Services Near You in Sacramento

If you think you might have a refrigerant leak and need AC service near you in Sacramento or the surrounding areas, Bonney can help. Our HVAC specialists are trained to find the source of refrigerant leaks, perform the needed repairs, and refill your system’s refrigerant at the right levels. In addition, if you have a system made before 2010 that still uses freon, we can replace your existing unit with a more environmentally-friendly model. Our many coupons and financing options also ensure our services meet your budget.

Learn more about our AC repair services today. Please contact us if you have any questions or want to schedule an appointment today!