Heating and Air Conditioning

How Can You Replace the Freon in Your Air-Conditioning Unit?

If you have an air-conditioning unit in your home, and the vast majority of people in the United States have one, you might be wondering if it is possible to change the refrigerant on your own. Actually, you may be asking about replacing the coolant in your AC for a number of different reasons. In some cases, you might be wondering if you can switch from R-22 to another, environmentally friendly and less expensive option. You might also be wondering if it is possible to top off the unit with refrigerant on your own.

First of all, let’s talk about swapping out the R-22 refrigerant with another type of refrigerant. The this is something that many people are considering because of the cost of freon. R-22 has really increased in price in the past year and it is only going to go up in price as it continues to be phased out of use. That is why most technicians will advise you to replace your AC unit completely to use a different type of refrigerant rather than continuing to spend money on R-22.

You should also consider the fact that it is not a simple matter of using a different type of refrigerant. The most common option for those who no longer want to use R-22 but don’t want to replace the entire unit is R-410A. If you are going to make this switch, it is going to require that you replace the evaporator coil. You also need to replace the line set or, at the very least, flush the line set so that it can accept the new refrigerant. This isn’t going to be an inexpensive option, but it is something to consider if you don’t want to opt for having a completely new unit installed.

Of course, you may not want to make the switch from R-22 until it is absolutely necessary to do so. You will still be able to add this refrigerant to your unit for about 10 more years, but you will experience a higher price as the manufacturing and import of R-22 is phased out completely within the next couple of years. The only way that you will be able to get this refrigerant is if it has been reclaimed from older AC and refrigeration units. It is still possible, it is just not as easy to do.

Perhaps you are just looking to add a little R-22 to your AC unit because it is no longer blowing as cold. Inefficient operation of the air conditioning unit can be a real expense and you might find that your energy bill is going up on a regular basis. If the unit is low on freon, you can add more, and it may help with the problem but there is something else that needs to be considered as well. Unfortunately, it often comes with a price tag all of its own.

When an AC unit is low on refrigerant, it doesn’t mean that the refrigerant has evaporated over time. You are dealing with a closed system so the only reason you would be missing refrigerant is that it has an active leak. You can add refrigerant to get it back up to its former level, but it is likely to continue to drop and the leak may only get worse. This is not only something that is hard on the budget, it is also hard on the environment as well.

The reason why R-22 is being phased out of production is that it has been known to cause some very serious environmental problems. The most notable of those issues is the fact that it has, in part, contributed to the hole in the ozone layer. Many of the developed countries in the world are now phasing out the use of this refrigerant for that very reason. It is still commonly used in many other countries of the world, however, but the fact that it will no longer be used in the United States and many developed countries means that the damage to the environment is going to be slowed down at least.

In order to make the determination if you have a leak in your system, you will have to have it tested. This can be done in a number of different ways, but it often requires checking the temperature of the air as it is blowing from your AC unit and testing the pressure inside of the lines. This is not something that many homeowners are able to do on their own, but it could easily be done by a technician who has the proper equipment and experience. They can test it for a leak and determine where it is occurring and what can be done in order to stop it from leaking. This is really the only way that you can add refrigerant and keep your unit running without having to add more soon thereafter.

There are some kits available that promise to seal any leaks that you have in your air-conditioning unit. These DIY kits can be purchased in many locations but are they really worth considering? There is an old saying that, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. That is certainly the case when it comes to these repair kits. They may seal the leak to a certain extent, but they may also cause additional damage to the system and shorten its lifespan.

The decision whether you are going to add bluon energy refrigerant to your AC unit is one that you must make personally. In some cases, you may find that the better choice is to have the air conditioner replaced to a more energy-efficient model that no longer uses R-22. This would require an initial outlay of money that may be difficult to swallow if you are on a tight budget. If you have the budget for it, however, switching to an energy-efficient unit can help protect the environment and typically pays for itself within a couple of years.

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