Two Truths and One Lie About Air Conditioners

blue-question-markHave you ever played “Two Truths and a Lie?” It’s the perfect ice-breaker for meetings and classrooms. We think it’ll be just as fun when talking about air conditioners.

Here’s how it works: we’ll give you three statements about air conditioning, and only two of them are true. Without looking below, write down which one you think is the lie:

  • The refrigerant in the system never needs to be changed.
  • An air conditioner that’s too big is better than one that’s too small.
  • Air fresheners can create leaks in copper refrigerant coils.

The Refrigerant in the System Never Needs to Be Changed.


“Never” is a strong word, but in the most ideal situation, the refrigerant in your air conditioner should never have been changed out. Refrigerant is what gives your air conditioner its ability to remove warm air from home. The perfect amount of refrigerant—and the right amount of pressure—will cycle through your system to create heat transference.

The only cases where you’d need more refrigerant in your system is if it was never charged to the perfect amount to begin with, or if the refrigerant lines have developed a leak. In either case, you would want to get it filled or fixed right away—the wrong amount of refrigerant can cause several issues, including compressor failure (a very expensive issue).

Air Fresheners Can Create Leaks in Copper Refrigerant Coils.


Air fresheners aren’t purely to blame, though. The main culprit here is formaldehyde. When formaldehyde comes into contact with copper, it can create formicary corrosion, which will eat away at the copper pipes. It just so happens that refrigerant coils and refrigerant lines are made of copper. With too much exposure, the copper lines can develop pinhole leaks.

Cleaning chemicals, hair sprays, air fresheners, and furniture can all contain formaldehyde. The evaporator coil—located in the indoor AC unit—is the biggest victim of formicary corrosion, simply due to insufficient ventilation and the fact that these chemicals are largely only used indoors.

An Air Conditioner That’s Too Big Is Better Than One That’s Too Small.


When it comes to sizing an air conditioner, the best one is one that’s the perfect size. Perfection is hard to achieve, sure, but a good HVAC technician will be able to use a series of calculations and good judgments to set your home up with the best possible match.

An air conditioner that’s too small is underpowered and won’t be able to cool the home—you probably guessed that. As for an air conditioner that’s too big, not everyone is aware that it can cause short-cycling issues. If the AC is too powerful, it will cool the home too quickly, causing the thermostat to malfunction. This can lead to excess energy waste, wear-and-tear, and prevent your home from getting cool.

Here’s one more truth: if you contact The Clean Air Act today, a representative will kindly return your message! Get in touch with us today see how our air conditioner services in Portland, OR can help you.

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