Over three-quarters of Americans own air conditioners, and it is not hard to see why. Air conditioners provide many benefits, from moisture control to air quality. But the main advantage is that it keeps you cool when the temperatures rise.
But when there is a problem with your air conditioner, it is not only uncomfortable, but it is hard to know what to do. There are various AC problems. But one possible solution is to recharge your air conditioning unit.
So what is a recharge? And when do you need AC unit recharging?
We have you covered. This guide explains all you need to know about recharging a home AC unit.
What Is an AC Unit Recharge?
Contrary to the name, recharging a home AC unit does not involve using electricity so that you can turn it back on and use it again.
The air conditioner uses refrigerant. This is a chemical that keeps your house cool, along with compressors and evaporators. Refrigerants and coolants absorb heat and help turn it into the cool air your AC is meant to provide.
Without refrigerant, your AC is not able to produce cool air. So when you recharge an air conditioning unit, you refill the refrigerant.
Why Recharges Happen
Air conditioners are designed not to need recharges. But sometimes leaks occur in the refrigerant system. In most cases, leaks cause a loss of pressure and sufficient refrigerant for your AC unit to function.
If your unit is new, it is essential to call the manufacturer, as leaks should not immediately happen. Regular maintenance by a professional is the only way to keep an eye on the refrigerant system. They can resolve it before levels get too low.
Signs You May Need a Recharge
There are several signs you can look out for to determine that you need an AC unit recharge, including the following:
- AC unit blowing warm air
- A frozen unit
- A faulty thermostat
As mentioned, if your AC unit is blowing hot air through the vents, then you need a recharge. Warm air is one of the main signs that a recharge of the air conditioning unit is required. It is present in the majority of cases for refrigerant loss.
Initially, you may not notice the hot air is coming from the vents. If you are feeling hot or wiping the sweat from your brow, it is time to check. Put your hand over the vents to check for warm or lukewarm air coming out.
Another sign is a frozen or frost-covered unit. If you look inside your unit’s front, it is customary to see some frost covering the coils.
The refrigerant passes through the coils. These pipes are designed to manage the refrigerant and transport it with ease. However, if everything is covered in frost or frozen, it is a sign that there could be a leak.
A faulty thermostat can also confirm low refrigerant. This sign will usually be alongside a frozen unit or warm air. Check the temperature and try to reset it, and then monitor for any temperature changes.
However, a faulty thermostat could be a problem within itself. It could be that the thermostat is on the wrong setting, so set it to auto and wait.
Still unsure? When in doubt, call an expert to diagnose the problem.
Cost of Recharging a Home AC Unit
Cost depends on the nature of the leak and whether parts need to be replaced. It could be a simple hole that needs to be soldered or a lot more.
It is best to contact a professional to diagnose the leak’s source and give you price estimates.
Tips for Recharging an AC unit
You can regularly look at your AC unit to check for problems, such as the need for an AC unit recharge. Do this by visual inspections. Look for frost, review whether the fan is moving, and monitor the thermostat.
However, if you notice warm air or any other AC leak sign, call an expert. The United States Protection Agency (EPA) advises trained professionals to handle refrigerants.
You may be good with DIY tasks, but refilling refrigerant will not stop the problem if you do not know the leak’s source. It can repeat itself. It seems more affordable, but DIY mends can cost more due to mistakes and further damage to the system.
The reason the EPA advises that you call an expert is not because of technical issues. There is also a health risk. Refrigerant can cause refrigerant poisoning when not handled correctly.
Replace or Recharge?
Whether it is worth recharging your home AC unit or replacing it altogether depends on a few factors.
The first factor is cost. If the leak is extensive and many parts need to be replaced, then it may be more cost-effective to replace the unit.
The second factor is the age of the air conditioner. If the unit is over 15 years old, more problems are likely to occur, so it may be more cost-effective to replace the unit. The same goes for if the unit is brand new because there is likely a manufacturing issue.
If it is a small leak, and your air conditioner is otherwise functioning well, then recharge!
Contact a reliable company for a professional evaluation of the problem. This will help confirm the most suitable and cost-efficient option for you.
Recharge Your Air Conditioning Unit
It can be stressful (and too warm!) when your air conditioner malfunctions. It may be tempting to resolve the issue yourself. But calling an expert can save money, time, and even your health in the long run.
An expert will diagnose what the problem is and what needs to be done to fix it. If you need to recharge your air conditioning unit, then they will resolve it in no time.
Do you think you need an air conditioner repair? Do not hesitate to contact us today for professional and reliable assistance.