Refrigerant: What Homeowners Need to Know

Common Questions About Refrigerant

Refrigerant is a crucial component of air conditioning systems. Without it, homes cannot cool to the desired temperature. But what is this vital substance, and what is its role in an AC unit? Refrigerant is a substance in an air conditioner’s coils. It absorbs the heat to help provide cool air and comfort for the home. The AC unit cannot effectively keep a house comfortable without this substance or coolant.

Because refrigerant is essential to an air conditioner, homeowners need to understand the basics about this substance, including what type to use in their AC system, what causes refrigerant leaks, and when to call an HVAC technician for refrigerant leak repair.

Which Refrigerant Does the AC Use?

Air conditioners require a specific type of refrigerant. Homeowners need to know which type their unit uses because refrigerant is not interchangeable, and using the wrong kind can cause damage to the system. Property owners should be able to find the type of refrigerant their air conditioner uses on a label on the outdoor AC unit. 

If it’s not visible on the outside of the unit, homeowners can also look in their user’s manual. HVAC technicians can also help homeowners verify the type of refrigerant needed during an annual maintenance inspection. A property with an AC unit built before 2010 likely uses R-22 (freon). This type of refrigerant has been banned in newer models, as it is dangerous to the environment. 

What Causes Refrigerant Leaks?


Refrigerant leaks are common air conditioner issues. Various reasons, including age, corrosion, damage, and a lack of maintenance, can cause it. As AC units age, they experience wear and tear from usage, and the presence of chemicals like acids can lead to corrosion and rust – which can cause small holes in the tubing and lead to refrigerant leaks. 

If air conditioners are not installed properly, it can also lead to problems. It can cause damage to the unit, which can result in refrigerant leaks. A lack of maintenance can also lead to leaks. During inspections, professionals can check the AC unit and coils for issues. This allows the experts to spot and repair problems before they worsen and cause leaks. 

When Is It Time to Call a Professional for Refrigerant Leak Repair?


Homeowners need to know how to spot the signs of a refrigerant leak to know when to schedule professional repairs. Then the technician can use refrigerant leak detectors to locate the issue before starting repairs. One of the first problems a homeowner typically notices that can signal a refrigerant leak is a warmer-than-usual house. Homeowners might wonder why their home is not cooling to the setting on the thermostat even though their AC unit is running. If there is a leak, the air conditioner does not have enough refrigerant to cool the house properly. 

Other signs that can indicate a refrigerant leak are if the AC runs continuously without shutting off, there are hissing or gurgling sounds coming from the outdoor AC unit, or there is a formation of ice or frozen AC coils. Once these signs are noticed, homeowners should call a professional to inspect the unit for a refrigerant leak and repair it so the household can return to being cool and comfortable.

About Triple A Air Conditioning & Heating

Triple A Air Conditioning & Heating is a local, family-owned company that has been serving Corpus Christi and the surrounding communities for over 40 years. They provide straightforward pricing, free estimates, and prompt service. Call them today for AC refrigerant leak repair services in Corpus Christi, TX.

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