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

Published on: August 23, 2012

Two factors affect the amount of efficiency that your air conditioner can provide more than any other. These two factors are the airflow of your air conditioner and the refrigerant within your air conditioning.

A problem with either your airflow or your refrigerant charge may be indicative of more serious problems within your air conditioning. If you notice that you are not receiving the type of efficiency that you normally do from your air conditioning system, you may be in need of air conditioning maintenance or repair.

Some of the telling signs of lower efficiency in your air conditioning include:

– a higher heating / cooling bill
– noticeable sounds coming from your ceiling and walls
– visually prominent fissures in the lining of your air conditioning unit
– “stuffy” air or an increase in the amount of pollen agents in your indoor air
– uneven heating and / or cooling between rooms

If you experience any of the symptoms above on a continuous basis, have a licensed professional come in for an immediate air conditioning maintenance or repair call.

Their are ways in which you can avoid these more serious consequences and expenditures. When you perform your routine maintenance checkups on your air conditioner, make sure that you perform the following steps to check on your airflow and refrigerants. If you have a professional who comes in for your routine checkups, make sure that you tell them to include the airflow and refrigerants in their air-conditioning maintenance or repair diagnosis.

One – Clear away all obstruction from your outside unit.

One of the easiest ways to increase the airflow into your AC unit is to give your outside tower a 2 foot radius of clear ground. This alone will increase the efficiency of your AC and decrease the amount of air conditioning maintenance or repair that you will need based on the workload of your unit.

The more shrubbery and branches that are around your outside unit, the more difficult the airflow into your AC unit becomes. Also, live shrubbery tends to bring additional contaminants that make the entire unit work much harder than it should. If your unit is overworked in any way, expensive air conditioning maintenance or repair calls are right around the corner.

Two – Check the size of your ducts to make sure they are appropriate for the size of your living space and your air conditioner.

You can take a look at Manual D to determine if duct job size is appropriate for your living space. Many people make the mistake of relying on ducts that are too small. This blocks the airflow and decreases the efficiency of your unit.

Three – When you have your AC professional come in for routine checkups, ask him about new types of more efficient refrigerant.

As you are checking for the amount of refrigerant (just as you would the amount of oil in your car), you should also check to see if there are more efficient chemical makeups for the refrigerant that you use.