There can be a lot of questions and concerns when it comes to heating and cooling your home. And rightfully so—we rely on our HVAC system to keep us warm through brisk Iowa winters and cool during sweltering summers. Stay comfortable and confident in your HVAC system by knowing some common facts about your unit. 

What Is Air Conditioner Refrigerant?

Refrigerant is a chemical compound that is typically in either a fluid or gaseous state. It absorbs heat from the environment—in this case, your home—and turns it into the cool air you feel coming out of the vents. It is contained within copper coils that travel in a loop from your indoor A/C unit to the outdoor A/C unit. 

There are three different types of refrigerants:

  • Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)
  • Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs)
  • Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)

How Much R-410A Does My A/C Unit Need?

R-410A is a popular refrigerant that has replaced the use of R-22 because it is a hydrofluorocarbon (HFC), which means it does not deplete or harm the ozone layer. It’s used for the vast majority of residential air conditioners. 

As long as your HVAC is working properly, you should never have to replace refrigerant. Most air conditioners come with the exact amount of refrigerant needed to produce cool air for the duration of its life. But, if you think refrigerant levels are low, you may have a leak. In that case, you’ll need a professional to locate and repair the leak.

Which Parts of the A/C Unit Are Prone to Going Bad?

If something goes wrong with your air conditioning unit, there are a few common parts that we often look at to solve the malfunction and get your A/C back up and running. The parts that are most prone to causing A/C failure are:

  • Air filters
  • Capacitor
  • Blower Motor/Fan Motor
  • Evaporator Coils
  • Compressor
  • Ducts
  • Defective Thermostat

How Do I Know if the Capacitor Is Bad?

Also known as the run capacitor, the AC capacitor sends energy to the motor to power the air conditioning system. Not only does it give the initial boost it needs to turn on, but it also provides continuous power for the unit to keep running. When the capacitor malfunctions, your system can’t run properly

The main signs that your capacitor has gone bad are if your air conditioner is not blowing cold air, it takes a while to start once you turn it on, there is a humming sound coming from your air conditioner, your AC shuts off on its own, or the AC won’t turn on at all. 

How Do I Know if the Compressor Is Bad?

AC compressors are responsible for bringing the cooled and conditioned air into the various parts of your home. It’s the part of the air conditioner that pumps refrigerant throughout the unit, resulting in the production of cool air. 

You’ll know the AC compressor is not working if your unit is making growling, screeching, or clattering noises, you have a hard time getting your AC to start, your unit stops blowing cold air, you experience circuit breaker problems, or there is diminished airflow. 

Learn More From the Professionals

Our technicians have the answers to all your heating and cooling questions and concerns! Whether you have general queries, worry something is wrong, or simply want to schedule routine maintenance, give Wyckoff a call. We have the experience and knowledge to keep you comfortable all year long. Call us today to schedule an appointment or speak with a technician!