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Why Is Low Refrigerant a Problem for Air Conditioners?

A number of people fallaciously believe that air conditioners consume refrigerant, the same way a car consumes gasoline or motor oil. The perception is compounded by the fact that air conditioning technicians often need to recharge (or raise the levels) of refrigerant in order to address a specific problem. In point of fact, however, refrigerant levels should never drop in an air conditioning system. Problems arise when the refrigerant leaks out of the system, and here in Salt Lake City, that can leave you without your air conditioner right when you need it the most. “Why is low refrigerant a problem for air conditioners?” you ask. We’ve provided a quick breakdown below.

How It’s Supposed to Work

Air conditioning refrigerant can be any one of a number of different chemical mixtures. The precise type and the precise amounts that appear in your air conditioner, depend on the make and model of the system itself. The refrigerant cycles through a closed loop, which firsts places it under a great deal of heat and pressure (compressing it and shifting it into liquid form), then reverting it to gaseous form in a series of evaporator coils. The first part of the equation bleeds heat from it into the outside atmosphere, which the second part pulls heat in from the nearby air. The cooled air can then be blown into your home.

What Happens When There’s a Leak

That process depends on a very specific amount of air conditioner refrigerant. When the refrigerant leaks, the balance of the cycle is thrown off. Frost forms on the evaporator coils and the system has to work a lot harder to do its job. Not only will it make it harder for the air conditioner to do its job – raising your monthly energy bills accordingly – but it increases the risk of a breakdown somewhere else in the system.

If you spot frost on your evaporator coils or another sign of a refrigerant leak, don’t treat it yourself. Call At Your Service to treat the problem properly.

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At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air provides excellent heating, air conditioning, plumbing, indoor air quality, water treatment and water heater services throughout the greater Salt Lake City, UT area, including the installation of new systems and components, and the replacement of the old, as well as ongoing repair and maintenance. Established in 1980, we have served the home comfort needs of our local community for over 30 years. Whether you need your stop and waste valve replaced or a new "green," energy–efficient HVAC system installed, we can make sure that the job is completed properly. Our HVAC contractors are NATE–certified and we employ Master and Journeyman plumbers. We are confident in our ability to satisfy any issue that may arise in your home, 24 hours a day. Give one of our friendly staff members a call today to learn more about what we can do for your home.

At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air offers quality heating, air conditioning and plumbing services throughout the Salt Lake City, UT area, including repair, installation and maintenance.

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When it comes to ensuring that you are comfortable during the winter months in Salt Lake City, you need to make certain that you have an excellent heating system. We offer comprehensive heating services in Salt Lake City, including installation, replacement, repair and maintenance services for a wide variety of equipment, including boilers, furnaces, and radiant heat systems. Whether you’d like to save more on your energy bills from month to month with an energy efficient heater or you want to retrofit a zone control system into your existing furnace setup, we provide heating solutions.

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For truly year–round comfort, your home needs an excellent air conditioner. At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air offers excellent air conditioning services throughout the Salt Lake City, UT area, from AC repair to maintenance, installation to replacement. We can make sure that your entire home is cooled to your satisfaction, no matter how hot and unpleasant it gets outside. We want you to feel comfortable in your home, and we have the experience and expertise to make sure that this is the case.

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Our services go well beyond HVAC, however. In addition to providing heating and cooling solutions, we provide a wide range of plumbing services throughout the Salt Lake City, UT area. From whole–house repiping to drain cleaning, water line installation to leak detection, sprinkler system timer repair to kitchen plumbing, we have got you covered. We can make sure that you are able to use water safely, effectively, and efficiently in your home.

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