Air Conditioning

Facts & Myths

The very first myth that needs to be addressed is “topping up” your system. Did you know that if your system is 10% low, you will lose 40% of your oiling capability to your A/C Compressor? You won’t experience lack of cooling until you have lost 40% of your refrigerant. During that time, from -10% to -40% loss of charge, you are doing damage to your compressor. Your compressor does not have a sump like your engine does, it relies on the proper volume of refrigerant in the system to push the refrigerant oil back to the compressor. The problem with topping up your system is you don’t know how much refrigerant is in your system to add to it. There is no “dip stick” to indicate refrigerant charge. When you add refrigerant to your system that is blowing warm you can increase the charge until the system starts to blow cold, but you may still be in the -10% to -40% low refrigerant range, which is still doing damage to your compressor. The only proper way to service your Air Conditioning is to recover the system, pull a vacuum to remove contaminants such as air and moisture, install refrigerant oil to lubricate the compressor, and then install the factory refrigerant charge as specified by the manufacturer.

The second myth is those “little cans of refrigerant” that are being sold at local retailers. In Canada Federal Law states you can not sell refrigerant in containers that contain less than 22 pounds (10kg). If you are purchasing a container that has 6-12 ounces of “refrigerant” in it, this is NOT R134a (refrigerant) which is required for your vehicle. What you are buying is called a Hydrocarbon, also known as a propane and butane mixture. The way you can tell is to look at the labeling on the container, it will show the explosive and flammable symbol. R134a will ONLY show the compressed gas symbol on the label. R134a is not flammable or explosive, and is specified by the vehicle manufacturer for your vehicle. R134a and all proper refrigerants require technicians to be Federally and Provincially certified to handle them. They are not available to be purchased without the proper certification. Drop by today and have one of our certified technicians take a look at your air conditioning system.