Common Refrigerant Questions Answered

What Is Refrigerant?

Refrigerant plays an essential role in air conditioning systems, yet many homeowners are unfamiliar with what this substance does. Refrigerant resides in the coils of an air conditioner. It absorbs the heat and provides cool air that the air conditioner can distribute to the household. This substance is crucial for keeping homes cool and comfortable during the summer.

Property owners might also have other questions about refrigerants, including how to determine which type of refrigerant their system uses or needs, what causes refrigerant leaks, and what symptoms can signal homeowners to call for professional help.

How Can You Tell Which Refrigerant an AC Uses?

A question many homeowners have regarding refrigerant or coolant is what type is needed for their system. Many property owners might not even be aware that there are many different types of refrigerants, and they are not interchangeable. Putting the wrong type in a system can cause damage. Just like putting the wrong type of fuel in a vehicle, it’s essential to put the right type in the system to prevent it from causing issues or breaking down.

To determine the type of refrigerant a system requires, homeowners should look for the label on the outside of their outdoor AC unit. They can also look for an owner’s manual or any documentation that came with the air conditioner. These places should have the type of refrigerant used in the unit documented on them. 

The homeowner should also pay attention to the age of their unit. If a system was built before 2010, it might use R-22 refrigerant, also called Freon. This type of refrigerant has been banned for use in new air conditioners since 2010 due to environmental damage. To correctly identify the type of refrigerant needed for their air conditioner, homeowners can also consult a technician.

What Causes Refrigerant Leaks?


One of the biggest problems that can occur with refrigerant is leaks. Unfortunately, these can be a common issue with air conditioners and can occur due to various causes. Age is one risk factor for refrigerant leaks. As a system gets older, it can experience more wear and tear. This can lead to numerous issues, including rusting and corrosion. When this happens, holes can form in the coils, leading to leaks. Damaged or malfunctioning components can also cause leaks. If the system is installed incorrectly, or pinholes in the tubing occur caused by acids, it can lead to refrigerant leaks. 

Another issue that can lead to refrigerant leaks is improper maintenance of the AC system. Failure to schedule routine inspections or maintenance with professionals can prevent experts from examining the system, and identifying possible issues early before they get bigger can cause other problems. During these services, technicians can also use refrigerant leak detectors to identify them.

When Is It Time to Call a Professional?


Homeowners need to know when they need professional help addressing refrigerant issues. There are many symptoms HVAC technicians recommend watching for, but the biggest one is if their air conditioner is failing to cool their house properly. 

If their home is not cooling to the desired temperature, it can indicate there may not be enough refrigerant to allow the AC unit to run correctly due to a refrigerant leak. Some other signs of refrigerant leaks technicians suggest watching for are:

  • AC unit runs continuously or for longer cycles
  • Hissing, bubbling, or gurgling sounds can indicate refrigerant is escaping through a small hole
  • Ice inside the outdoor AC unit, or a frozen evaporator coil, can happen if there’s a refrigerant leak

If property owners notice these signs or suspect they have a refrigerant leak, they should call an HVAC technician to inspect their unit, fix the leak, and put more refrigerant in the system.

About Hall Heating and Air

For more than 40 years, Pampa residents have trusted Hall Heating and Air to provide quality heating and cooling service. They offer dependable service, straightforward pricing, and the latest technology. Call them today for AC refrigerant leak repair in Pampa, TX.