1) Technician says you need more refrigerant, without checking A/C unit
An air conditioning technician may recommend adding refrigerant when they are told that the air conditioner is blowing hot-air, without checking to see if that’s the case.
This may have some undesirable consequences for you:
- The technician will miss the real problem (meaning you still won’t have any cool air and you wasted your money)
- The technician may overcharge your system, causing costly damage to your air conditioner
What else could the problem be? There are several possible issues that could cause your air conditioner to stop blowing cold air, including:
- Compressor issues
- Dirty air filter
- Dirty outside condenser unit
- Maybe the thermostat was accidentally set on “heat” instead of “cool”?
Refrigerant isn’t like gas in a car; it does not get “used up”. Refrigerant flows between the inside and outside units, going from a liquid to gas, over and over again. The refrigerant remains in a self-contained system. If you are low on refrigerant, then there is most likely a leak in your system, allowing the refrigerant to escape.
If there’s no mention of finding a leak, then that could mean a couple things:
- You don’t really need refrigerant; or
- You do need refrigerant, but any refrigerant that’s added will leak out, only offering a temporary fix. This means that you will be paying for more refrigerant soon enough (how soon depends on how big the leak is).
What a contractor should do if they think you are low on refrigerant?