AC Airflow and Refrigerant Charge: How These 2 Factors Affect Performance

Published on: August 9, 2012

Knowing the basics about how your air conditioning unit conditions and directs air into your living space is essential to understanding how you can protect your investment in it. You always want to have the most efficient air conditioning system, especially during the summer and winter months.

The two most important factors in the efficiency of your air conditioning unit are the airflow into your unit and the charge of your refrigerants. These two factors can not only keep you from paying higher cooling bills in the summer and heating bills in the winter, but they can also reduce your need for AC repair and air conditioning maintenance calls.

The more efficiently your system runs, the less it has to work to create the climate change that you want. The less that your system works, the longer it lasts and the less it will need AC repair or air conditioning maintenance calls for serious problems.

Below are some of the ways in which airflow and refrigerant directly affect the efficiency of your air conditioning system.


You can think of the refrigerant in your air conditioning system in the same way as you think of the blood in your own system. Refrigerant is there to carry the cleaning chemicals to different parts of the air-conditioning unit to help in the filtration of the air.

If your air-conditioning system has too much refrigerant in it, you run the risk of clogging your system and putting it in need of air conditioning maintenance from bottlenecks. If your system does not have enough refrigerant inside of it, you will need AC repair for the breakdown of certain parts inside of the unit.

There are standards of refrigerants stated in the manuals used by professional HVAC repairman. You can get a hold of these online and compare notes when you have your technician come over for routine checkups of your air conditioning system.


The airflow into and throughout your air conditioning system is the most important aspect of the efficiency of your system. If air cannot adequately get into your system, your air conditioning unit will be overworked from the very beginning of the process. This will naturally decrease the efficiency of your air conditioning unit at later points in the process including filtration and direction of the airflow. This can lead to dirty air escaping into your living space and less conditioned air being placed into the appropriate parts of your house.

The first thing you can do to clear the airflow of your air conditioning unit is to clear a path around your outside tower. You should have at least a 2 foot radius between your outside tower and the nearest standing structure. You should also clear out any branches that are hanging from trees over your outside tower as they can easily drop contaminants into your system as well as large debris that the machinery of your air conditioner simply cannot handle.