Refrigerant Charge And Airflow: 2 Checks Maintenance Should Include

by Greg Leisgang on August 27, 2012

Posted in: Air Conditioners

refrigerant charge and airflowThough you may not think about it much, the refrigerant charge and airflow of your air conditioner are essential to your home comfort. As a Cincinnati homeowner, there are measures that you can take to keep your equipment running efficiently; however, annual preventive maintenance is also a must. As your HVAC technician services your air conditioner, make sure that checking refrigerant charge and airflow is at the top of the list.

The importance of refrigerant charge and airflow
In order to understand what makes refrigerant charge and airflow important, you should have a basic grasp of how your air conditioner works. Your air conditioner's refrigerant works to absorb and release heat from your home as it transforms from a liquid to a vapor state while moving through your system.

Initially, refrigerant is extremely cold and it enters a vapor state as it absorbs heat from your home's air. Exact amounts are necessary for the equipment to function efficiently. And with the assistance of a fan, this heat is then released outside your house. Airflow must remain free and clear in order to keep hot air moving out of your home. Typically, air should move through your ductwork at around 400 cubic feet per minute for every ton of A/C capacity.

Checking up on refrigerant charge and airflow
As a homeowner, you should keep an eye on the airflow of your system. This can be accomplished by simply making it a point to regularly check that your home's registers are free of obstructions and the housing of your compressor is free of debris that may block it.

An HVAC contractor should be hired to perform the following tasks during annual preventive maintenance:

  • Cleaning the blower and calibrating its speed
  • Cleaning the coils
  • Checking ducts for any leaks or disconnections

Your HVAC technician should check your air conditioner's refrigerant levels and charge. Too much or too little can reduce your equipment's efficiency. Your technician should test your refrigerant's charge so that it matches the exact specifications from the system's manufacturer. If it does not match, your service professional should immediately correct it. Any leaks should also be remedied at this time.

For more advice on refrigerant charge and airflow, contact the professionals at Tri-County Heating & Cooling. We've been serving Butler County and the Greater Cincinnati area since 1969.

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