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Serving the South Puget Sound and Southwest Washington Areas Since 1976

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Sunset Air Blog

Does My Air Conditioner Need More Refrigerant?

A lot of people know that air conditioners use refrigerant, and some may even know what they use it for. Most people, however, don’t actually know the process that refrigerant goes through when it’s in use by an air conditioner. Not that you need to know everything about how your air conditioner operates in order to benefit from it. Still, we thought it would be a good idea to give an in-depth answer to this common question about whether or not your air conditioner might need additional refrigerant at some point.

How Refrigerant Works

Refrigerant is not actually a single substance. It’s a term for a wide range of different liquids that all serve the same basic function. An air conditioner uses refrigerant to move heat out of the house during operation. An evaporator coil in the inside unit evaporates refrigerant to absorb thermal energy from the air. The refrigerant gas is then sent down the refrigerant line to the outside unit, where it is condensed back into a liquid. This releases the heat out of the home. The liquid refrigerant is then returned to the evaporator coil to begin the process all over again.

When Refills are Required

Because an air conditioner doesn’t normally consume refrigerant during operation, the initial charge it receives at installation should be enough to last it for its entire lifespan. The only time when this is not the case is when a leak develops in the refrigerant line. Refrigerant leaks will deprive the system of the fluid that it needs to operate, leading to a decline in efficiency and an eventual breakdown. You’ll need to call for repairs as soon as possible if you suspect a leak in your air conditioner’s refrigerant line.

Sunset Air offers a full range of air conditioner repair services throughout Olympia, WA. Call today for an appointment.

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