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

Published on: July 31, 2012

In an age of energy efficiency and low heating and cooling costs, there is no reason that you should have to pay premium prices to maintain your standard of living. The upgrades that have been made to the air conditioning industry throughout the marketplace have increased the energy efficiency standards of all units, not just units of certain brands.


Political pressure has definitely had some part to play in this trend, but the majority of the technological advancements have been made through the competition between private companies. Overall, the average SEER level of air-conditioning units has increased by more than three points over the past five years. Air-conditioning units have also seen a great deal of encouraging performance based on the other three major energy efficiency rating systems.


With energy efficient air conditioning units so readily available, there is also no reason that the average person should spend a great deal of money on AC repair either. An air conditioning unit that is in constant need of AC repair and replacement parts is not up to the modern standard and should be replaced with an air conditioning unit that has a higher efficiency and lower energy usage overall.


Two factors above all determine the efficiency of an air conditioning unit and its future need for AC repair. These two factors are the airflow of a particular unit and the refrigerant that is inside of that unit. Below we will discuss these two factors and how to maintain both of them to achieve the maximum efficiency that you possibly can for your air conditioning unit, at the same time decreasing your need for constant AC repair.


One – The airflow to your air-conditioning unit is the most important factor when considering the efficiency of your heating and cooling.


Having a clear airflow going into your air-conditioning unit and traveling through your air-conditioning unit is absolutely the reason that some AC units are less in need of AC repair than others. The more clearly that air travels into and through a unit, the less work that unit has to do to condition that air. The less work that an air-conditioning system does, the more efficient than its performance will be.


There are a few things that you can do on your own to make sure the airflow into your air-conditioning unit is always as clear as it can be. The first thing is to clear out all shrubbery and wildlife from around your outside tower unit.

As air comes in from the outside environment and enters your outside tower, you want to make sure that it is flowing as clearly as it can be. The last shrubbery and wildlife that is around your outside tower, the less contaminants that will flow into your air conditioner in its initial staging.

Cut down any overhanging branches and remove any trees and shrubbery from a two foot radius around your outside tower. This is a good starting point according to the standards manuals that are followed by the HVAC industry, but if you can increase that distance at all, go ahead and do so.


You must also make sure that your ductwork is appropriately sized for your living space. If your ductwork is too small, the air will have a difficult time flowing between the compressor and evaporation coils of your air conditioning units. This will increase the amount of work that the unit has to perform and decrease the efficiency of the unit.


Two – Make sure that the amount of refrigerant in your air conditioner is appropriate.

The second most important factor for efficiency inside of your air conditioner is the amount of refrigerant that is contained there. If your air conditioner has too little or too much refrigerant, the airflow will be blocked between different points in your air conditioner. This will result in a less efficient performance, especially in highly volatile and unpredictable seasons of weather.

Too little refrigerant inside of your system is usually indicative of a refrigerant leak. If you are suspicious that you have too little refrigerant in your system, make sure that you call a licensed professional to diagnose and handle any leaks. Refrigerant is highly toxic and should not be handled by the layperson.


As long as you are checking for the right amount of refrigerant inside your air conditioner, you might as well check for the right type of refrigerant as well. More energy-efficient forms of refrigerant have been found that provide a clearer path for chemicals to move within your air-conditioning system. If you are in line for an update on your air conditioner, make sure that you invest in an air conditioner that takes the more energy efficient forms of refrigerant rather than the more antiquated and less efficient forms that were used in older HVAC systems.