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  • What is a Pre-Charged Cooling System?

    Pre-Charged Cooling System

    A pre-charged cooling system is charged with refrigerant and doesn't require additional services for adding refrigerant. The cooling system is used to cool air that’s circulated throughout a home. The systems are usually installed by licensed professionals, such as HVAC technicians. The pre-charged units eliminate the need for removing the air from the system by creating a vacuum, brazing the metal parts together and then charging the system by adding refrigerant. The refrigerant is inside the units, which have no leaks. However, any connected parts could be a source for leaks and must also be sealed.

    Components
    Air conditioner units have three very important components. The AC condenser, evaporator and compressor must function in unison because the refrigerant repeatedly changes from liquid into a gas and from gas into a liquid. Warm air transfers heat to the coils and causes the liquid refrigerant to change into a gas. The compressor is used to pressurize the gas, which forces the gas to change into a liquid. A pre-charged unit is sealed to prevent leaks and usually connected to the system with quick connect fittings.

    Metal Tubing
    The cooling system has metal tubing that also holds the refrigerant, which moves through the system. The tubing is sealed and usually quite fragile. Therefore, the HVAC technicians must carefully handle the units and ensure that the refrigerant is not accidentally released through a crack in the tubing. There are quick connect fittings installed on the metal tubing, which are used to connect to the pre-charged unit that supplies refrigerant to the entire system. The metal tubing may also be connected by brazing, which is similar to soldering. However, brazing requires a much higher temperature because the filler metal has a higher melting point than solder.

    HVAC Technicians
    The HVAC technicians must have special licenses for handling refrigerant, which is consider to be a source of problems for the environment. There are refrigerant recovery machines that’re used to collect refrigerant from units. The refrigerant shouldn't be released into the environment and should ONLY be handled by licensed professionals. Therefore, leaks should also ONLY be repaired by technicians who are licensed to handle refrigerant.

    Benefits of the Pre-Charged Units
    The pre-charged units offer the additional feature that the components will probably not need to be checked for leaks, which is another service that is eliminated. Leaks are serious problems with cooling systems because the refrigerant can leak from the quick connect fittings, from a crack in the tubing or from a component, such as from a condenser. The HVAC technicians usually charge a system with refrigerant and then quickly search for the source of a leak. Therefore, the pre-charged units can save time during an installation and help to eliminate inspections for leaks.

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