How to Add Freon to a Home Air Conditioning Unit
Contrary to popular belief, home air conditioning units do not eat through freon in the same way cars guzzle oil or even gas. When your air conditioner is low on freon, this is usually due to leaks that can begin to occur as your unit ages. Adding freon yourself is not a do-it-yourself project.
Freon is an Environmental Protection Agency-controlled substance and could be hazardous to people and the environment if it is released into the atmosphere. Further, improper handling could subject you to costly EPA fines. It is critical that you hire a certified HVAC technician to check your system for leaks and add freon as necessary.
Turn on your computer and open up your web browser.
Log-on to your preferred Internet search engine (i.e. Google, Yahoo), and type in the terms "HVAC" and the name of your town and state.
If you do not have a computer or prefer using the Yellow Pages, thumb through the pages until you reach "HVAC contractors."
Locate the names of three or four companies that repair and maintain air conditioners in your area.
Call these companies and compare their pricing for a service visit, and for potentially fixing leaks and adding freon.
Make an appointment with the company that best meets your budget and air conditioning service needs.
Confirm your selection of a licensed HVAC company with the Better Business Bureau to check for reputability. Read through any filed complaints to see if they raise any red flags.
If you choose to observe from the sidelines while an HVAC technician inspects your air conditioning unit and possibly adds more freon once leaks are fixed, be sure to wear safety glasses with side shields. Freon is absolutely hazardous and dangerous--and can cause permanent vision loss if even a drop gets into your eye.
Based in Charlotte, N.C., Virginia Franco has more than 15 years experience freelance writing. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications, including the education magazine "My School Rocks" and Work.com. Franco has a master's degree in social work with an emphasis in health care from the University of Maryland and a journalism degree from the University of Richmond.