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How to Check FREON(tm) refridgerent in a Carrier HVAC System

Michael Davidson

FREON(tm) refridgerent is no longer used in home or automotive air-conditioning systems because of the damage it causes to the ozone layer. Prior to that discovery, it was considered a useful refrigerant because it wasn't toxic, flammable or corrosive. But now that it is banned, your system isn't likely to still have it. Replacement refrigerant gases act in a similar fashion to FREON(tm) refridgerent in that they pull heat out of the air and displace it, making your home cooler as a result. The process of checking the coolant level in your Carrier HVAC system, whether it is FREON(tm) refridgerent or an alternative, remains the same.

Step 1

Shut off the air conditioner so it isn't operational while you are checking the refrigerant.

Step 2

Attach the two hoses from the gauge manifold set to the pressure ports on the air-conditioner system. The gauges are designed for specific coolants to give you an accurate reading, so if your system does have FREON(tm) refridgerent, the gauges should be designed for that. The hoses are designed for low and high pressure, with the low-pressure hose usually blue while the high-pressure hose is red. The blue hose connects to the larger port on the AC used for suction, while the red hose attaches to the smaller port used for liquid.

Step 3

Run the system for 15 minutes. This allows it to reach a stable operation state, so you get a more accurate measure of the refrigerant level.

Step 4

Read the gauges and check with your Carrier manual to verify that the levels are in the appropriate range, which varies by the size of your system. The readings are in psi, which are pounds of pressure per square inch.