There is oil in your air conditioning system. No, really, there is oil flowing all the way through your air conditioning system. It moves along with the refrigerant (Freon) and it lubricates the compressor motor bearings and valves, and provides some cooling as well. Unlike other types of motors this oil is in direct contact with the electrical windings (wires) that make the compressor motor run. In fact the windings are immersed in this oil. Unlike your car engine this oil should never need to be changed. But, the oil needs to be treated properly, and kept clean or the oil will begin to contain acid. This acid is one of the reasons compressors fail.
So, how do you know if there is acid in the refrigeration oil that is in your air conditioning system? About every two years part of your preventative maintenance visit should include a quick acid check. What your technician should do is do a quick acid check. It’s easy really.
The technician takes a two second sample of the refrigerant in your system and runs it across a test strip. If the test strip changes color, the oil contains acid, and must be cleaned up. If the test strip does not change color the oil is clean, and it is one less thing that can cause your system to break down.
How is acid in the oil formed? Moisture, air, or electrical breakdown of the compressor winding installation can be causes. Additionally, a dirty condenser coil that allows the oil to overheat and begin to break down can cause acid formation. While the latter is possible it is most often caused by improper installation or service. Technicians accidentally leaving air and moisture in the system when installed or allowing air and moisture into the system when it is serviced. Putting gauges on a system is not always needed, and in fact can be the cause of many failures.
The most important fact is that once acid is found in a refrigeration system it is not too late to clean it up if the system is still running and it is found early enough. The technician is able to add a cleanup filter to the system. Change the refrigerant, sometimes change the oil out, and you can have many more years of reliable operation.
Once acid is in the system it will continue to get worse and without intervention it will cause compressor failure and a very expensive repair or replacement.
So, the choice is yours:
1) Call us and ask us to do a full preventative maintenance including the acid check.
2) Do nothing and play the acid lottery.
Did you know that a full preventative maintenance, including an acid test, is UNDER $150.00?
Call us at 863-949-0887 to discuss or schedule!