Refrigerant Charge Measurement

Refrigerant Charge Measurement

Refrigerant Charge MeasurementWith the increasing energy costs and growing demands for more efficient cooling systems, the need for accurate superheat chart measurements has become more important. Unfortunately, many technicians have either forgotten what they were taught about superheat back in school or think it’s too taxing to perform the process altogether.

Technicians learn the procedure early on in school – which is when they practice it – but they later find out that it is more difficult in the field, largely because of forgotten techniques or ineffective tools at their disposal – such as a superheat calculator measurement tool. This lack of measurements normally results in air conditioners being undercharged or overcharged and also put it at risk of compressor failure. At So-Cal HERS Rating, all of our technicians are seasoned experts at handling air conditioner refrigerant measurements and repairs. We understand that there are few technicians that truly understand how to go about this process which is why we have placed a large emphasis on training technicians on superheat measurements. For more information, please call us today.

A Brief Description of Superheat Calculations

Superheat is typically defined as the difference between the temperature at which the refrigerant boils at a given pressure in the evaporator as well as the temperature of the charging refrigerant gas as it leaves the evaporator. In the case where there is low indoor heat load and the air conditioner is still running, if it is overcharged, the refrigerant in the evaporator would remain in liquid form and would back up into the compressor, essentially destroying it. An optimally tuned system results in the refrigerant continuing to boil and exiting the evaporator as a gas even under the worse conditions – therefore removing the dangers of a possible overcharge.

For numerous years, residential air conditioners used pistons as metering devices, and you will still commonly encounter these systems as well. The piston looks like a small brass or bronze nugget that has a calibrated hole drilled through the center. The size of the hold, along with the pressure drop in the hole, determines how much refrigerant can flow through the system. Most of these systems with piston metering devices are charged by the suction superheat method. Now, manufacturers of these systems normally provide an R22 charging chart, or slide rule, to properly charge their systems. This manufacturer’s chart is a crucial factor in the determination of the proper suction superheat. At So-Cal HERS Rating, trust that when we say that care about every aspect of the customer’s needs, we truly mean it. Call us today, or visit us online for more information.

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