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Does Your A/C Have a Refrigerant Leak?

a/c repair massachusettsIt happens sometimes, especially with older cooling systems: you turn your central air conditioner on only to feel warm air coming from your vents.

There are several potential causes for this problem – but if you also notice frost or ice forming on your outside central air conditioner lines, that narrows the possibilities down more or less to one: your cooling system is low on refrigerant and likely has a leak.

What role does refrigerant play in a home cooling system?

Refrigerant is used to transfer heat from inside to outside your home. When levels are low – usually due to a leak – heat builds up in the condenser coils, at first decreasing cool air and eventually causing your equipment to stop working altogether.

The problem with refrigerant leaks in older cooling systems

Historically, recharging a system with refrigerant was an easy process for a qualified A/C technician. But a change in the law has made things a little more complicated – at least for the owners of older systems.

Since January 1, 2020, production and import of R22 refrigerant – commonly known as Freon – has been completely halted by the U.S. Government and the Environmental Protection Agency in favor of Puron refrigerant. This is largely because Puron (also called R-410A, Forane, EcoFluor, or Suva) is kinder to the ozone that Freon. Puron systems also use less energy and cause less overall environmental impact than systems charged with Freon.

Sounds great, right? Now the bad news.

The ban of Freon has made the coolant almost impossible to find in the U.S., and when it is available it is extremely expensive. Most air conditioning units built after 2010 are already using Puron – but if you still have an A/C built before 2010, it could still be using Freon – making a system replacement more practical than a repair or recharge.

The Bottom Line

If you have an HVAC system that has a leak and your system was installed before 2010, you need to start planning for replacement of that legacy system – sooner than later.
A Needham Oil Complete Heating & Cooling technician can check your A/C unit to see if it is currently using R-22 Freon or R-410A Puron. If it uses Freon, we can suggest an equivalent Puron air conditioning system to replace it with.

For expert air conditioner installation in Norfolk and Middlesex counties, trust the pros at Needham Oil Complete Heating & Cooling. We’ll work with you to find a home cooling solution you’re Completely Happy with! Contact us today to get a FREE, no obligation estimate on cooling system installations in the MetroWest region!