Does Your Home’s Air Conditioner ACTUALLY Need a Refrigerant Charge?
When your air conditioning fails to keep your house cool, you’re at the mercy of the technician’s advice when deciding what is wrong and what is the best course of action to solve the problem. 

You may wonder, “Do I REALLY need more refrigerant / Freon charge, or is the technician just guessing?”  Or even worse you may wonder if you are being intestinally misled for a quick profit.  

There’s nothing wrong with a healthy dose of skepticism when your money is on the line.

Here are 2 signs an A/C contractor may have misdiagnosed the issue or is trying to make a quick buck without solving your problem.

1) Contractor says you need more refrigerant without making test measurements on your A/C unit

When an air conditioner is operational, but not cooling well, I like to start with these 5 pillars:

1 vapor saturation temperature

2 liquid saturation temperature

3 supper heat

4 sub cooling

5 return – supply air temperature difference

I use blue tooth instruments that live stream into my iPhone or tablet.

If your technician isn’t taking these measurements, then he or she doesn’t have a meaningful basis to determine if you need more refrigerant or not.  

In the words of Lord Kelvin 
“When you can measure what are speaking about and express it in numbers, you know something about it.” 
“But when you cannot measure it or when you cannot express it in numbers your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind.” 

2) Contractor mentions your A/C “used up” the refrigerant

Air conditioners do not use up refrigerant.  If an air conditioner is low on refrigerant, it likely was either never charged correctly from day one or it has a leak.  

What if you really are low on refrigerant?

At this point a conversation needs to take place.   It is best to leak check the system and repair the leak although sometimes a customer simply wants to have refrigerant added for a quick and temporary fix.  It is legal to do so on residential equipment.