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With summer upon us, a lot of homeowners are taking steps to make sure that their air conditioning systems are ready for the warm months. We often get the above question from homeowners this time of year, out of concern that their systems will not be able to operate as effectively without more refrigerant. Let’s take a look at how refrigerant interacts with your air conditioner, and the only time you should ever have to refill it.

What Is Refrigerant?

Refrigerant is a catch-all term for a variety of different heat transfer fluids that fulfill the same basic purpose. Your air conditioner uses refrigerant to move heat out of the home during operation. An evaporator coil in the indoor unit evaporates refrigerant to siphon thermal energy from the air in the ducts. The refrigerant gas is then sent down the refrigerant line to the outside unit, where it is condensed back into liquid. This releases the heat outside of the home. The refrigerant is not consumed during operation, but is recycled back and forth. Normally, you should never have to refill the refrigerant in your air conditioning system.

Refrigerant Leaks

The only time that a system should need more refrigerant is if a leak develops in the refrigerant line. If the refrigerant line starts to leak, it will eventually drain the system of the fluid that it needs to operate. This will lead to a steady decline in output, culminating in a full-system breakdown. If you notice fluid leaking from your air conditioning system, call for repairs as soon as possible. The leak will need to be patched, and the lost refrigerant refilled, in order to restore the system to full health.

Cliffs Air Conditioning and Heating, Inc. offers comprehensive air conditioning repair services throughout Port Charlotte, FL. Call today for an appointment.