Air conditioners require a specific refrigerant charge and pressure to operate properly. Your cooling equipment may become undercharged if the system leaks. As a result, it will fail to cool your spaces efficiently. However, an overcharged air conditioner is just as concerning as one that needs more refrigerant.
Here a trusted residential and commercial HVAC company shares the risks of overcharging your air conditioner.
How Does an Air Conditioner Become Overcharged?
Leaks usually lead to the loss of refrigerant and an undercharged AC. Your equipment can receive an excess of refrigerant if an inexperienced technician overcharges it. Refrigerant isn’t like fuel that can be topped off, a common misconception that many amateurs believe.
Your air conditioner may have also been installed with the incorrect charge or charged incorrectly after a repair. You can avoid this issue by hiring a reputable, experienced HVAC installation company. Always do your research before hiring a technician and make sure they’re properly licensed and insured.
What Happens When There’s Excess Refrigerant?
Compressor issues. Slugging occurs when excess refrigerant in a liquid state floods into the compressor’s cylinders. This can lead to various issues, such as damaged valves, faulty connecting rods and major compressor issues. The liquid refrigerant will fall into the crankcase oil, increasing the crankcase pressure. Over time, slugging will result in compressor motor burnout, which means you’ll need a complete AC replacement.
Inefficient equipment. Too much refrigerant can cause increased pressure on your equipment. It may not cause immediate issues, but will eventually make your AC inefficient. Experts recommend contacting a local HVAC technician if you notice an increase in your energy bills or if your equipment isn’t cooling your spaces properly. Professionals will check your AC’s pressure and remove any excess refrigerant.