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Does the Refrigerant in Your AC Need to be "Topped Off"?


Many homeowners assume that coolant loss is a normal part of operating an air conditioning system. With the amount of work your AC unit does during a Florida summer, it seems only natural that the system would need a refill once in a while. However, if you think you are experiencing low coolant levels, it’s important to call a professional HVAC technician right away. A drop in coolant level is a sign of a problem that will only get worse.

A Sealed System

Much like your freezer, the refrigerant in your air conditioner sits in a system of metal coils and tubes. These are sealed at the factory so that the Freon will not escape unless there is a problem. When the unit was installed, your technician should have checked the lines to make sure there were no leaks at that time. Unless there is damage to the tubes, the level of Freon in your air conditioner should remain constant with normal operation.

Signs of a Problem

If there is a problem with your coolant levels, you will experience a drop in performance. You may notice that your air conditioner is running more frequently. The system may never bring your home to the desired temperature. If you go out to check the AC unit, you may hear a hissing or bubbling sound as coolant leaks out.

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Assessing the Damage

Normally, a drop in coolant levels means a leak in the system. That’s why you should be wary of any HVAC technician who offers to top off your system’s coolant as part of a routine maintenance service. This is an underhanded way to charge your more for the service.

If the coolant is indeed low, it’s likely due to a leak. A leak can happen suddenly when there has been damage to the system caused by storm debris.

In other cases, small leaks in the coils happen over time due to the natural process of corrosion. It is important to understand that these leaks will only grow larger if left untreated. The longer you wait to have them addressed, the worse your system will perform. A reputable technician canrepair this problem quickly by replacing the affected part.

Your Partner for Complete Cooling Services

If you have any concerns about your air conditioner, you can rely on the experts at Mid-Fla Heating & Air. Our technicians are standing by 24/7 to deliver the repairs you need. Contact us today at (352) 377-4414 for a comfortable home.

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For more information about our company and HVAC services in Gainesville and throughout Central Florida, please feel free to call us!