This is a simple question to answer: You don’t. At no point will you personally need to place more chemical refrigerant into your air conditioning system.
However, there’s a more complex way to answer the question as well, and this two-part answer will help you understand more about how an air conditioning system operates and why professional repairs are important.
1) The air conditioner doesn’t normally need to have more refrigerant
Here’s a key thing to know about refrigerant: the air conditioner doesn’t actually consume it like a fuel. The energy source for the air conditioner is electricity; the refrigerant is a component that the AC uses to carry out heat exchange. As the refrigerant moves through a cycle of evaporation and condensation (absorbing and then releasing heat) it doesn’t dissipate. The level of refrigerant that an air conditioner starts with—referred to as its charge—should be the same level it contains throughout its service life. The charge is carefully matched to the AC, and either too much or too little will cause serious damage to the system.
2) In cases where the AC does need more refrigerant, only professionals should add it
The only way that an air conditioner will lose refrigerant is if it starts to leak because of damage along the refrigerant lines (formaldehyde in the air can cause this) or at loose connections. This will cause the AC to start to lose its cooling power and eventually breakdown. Solving the problem requires professionals. They will first find the leaks, then seal them up. After that, they’ll replace the lost refrigerant so the system is back to its factory-set charge. Only licensed HVAC technicians can handle refrigerant and make sure the right amount is in the system.
If you notice your AC is losing its cooling ability, you see ice along the indoor coil, or hear a hissing sound from the cabinet, you might have leaking refrigerant. Call our repair people right away!
JW Heating and Air offers excellent air conditioning repair in Downey, CA and throughout the Greater Los Angeles, San Fernando Valley, and San Gabriel Valley areas.