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Adding Freon to Your AC is not a DIY Project

Podcast, audio, listenPerhaps you’re really handy around the house, and enjoy taking on fix-it projects.  Adding refrigerant to your HVAC system – what we call a “shot of Freon” – is definitely NOT a do-it-yourself task!   

Iced Up!

When your air conditioner is low on Freon, it means this colorless gas is leaking out from somewhere in the system (see Causes of Refrigerant Leaks). Typically, you will see ice forming on either the inside or outside unit or both.  If this happens you need to turn the HVAC system off completely, wait for it to thaw out, and call an HVAC professional. 

not DIYNot DIY

Here are just some of the many reasons why you cannot just “add a shot of Freon” to your AC yourself:

  1. EPA 608 CertificationPossessing most refrigerants – which are toxic chemicals - requires a special EPA 608 certification, which typically only licensed HVAC contractors can get.  It is unlawful to possess HVAC refrigerants without such a license.  If you find a seller that will sell directly to a consumer and does not ask for your 608 certification, then you should be suspicious that what they’re selling is counterfeit (see our post Fighting Back Against Fake Refrigerants).
  2. RefrigerantsThere are now many different type of refrigerants on the market and each unit will work with only a certain type.  Putting the wrong type of refrigerant in your unit will damage the unit, and could also cause significant hazard to you!  Furthermore, as one refrigerant (R-22) has been phased out of production, other refrigerants may be used in its place, but may require certain updates to your system in order to do so.  You cannot assume that a supposedly “equivalent” product is compatible with your system.
  3. To replace the leaky part or to update the refrigerant, the “old” refrigerant needs to be evacuated first.  But this cannot be done simply by exhausting it into the air (it is unlawful to do so)!  It must be captured into a special pressurized container so it can be recycled. Keep in mind that refrigerants are gasses at room temperature, and are compressed under extraordinary pressures in order to liquefy. Special gear is required to diagnose where the leak is, and to evacuate the old refrigerant and fill with new refrigerant.  Purchasing the appropriate gauges, diagnostic equipment, and pressurized vessels would exceed the cost of the service call.
  4. penny wise pound foolishDepending on the source and extent of the leak, it may be better and more cost-efficient to replace the entire unit, rather than to continue to fill it with Freon that will only leak out again in a short time. Sure, the cost to repair or replace your system may be higher than simply adding another "shot of Freon," but not addressing the cause of the leak causes recurring expenses that will only escalate.  For example,  recharging the system several times could cause the oil in the compressor to deplete enough to damage the compressor, and then you may require a major, really expensive repair! 

Are You Cost-Conscious?

The bottom line is this: if you’re cost conscious, then the best “bargain” is calling an HVAC professional when your system needs a shot of Freon.

phone call

If you live in the Nashville area, call Interstate AC Service at 615-832-8500.  We'll help you with whatever ails your HVAC system.

Important Tips & Advice



You often don't think about your heating or air-conditioning system until something goes wrong. But there is so much you can do to help keep your system from breaking down. We regularly post information to help you learn what you can do to keep your system running, to save money and energy.  Search our many posts, videos, and podcasts, for valuable information that is never a sales pitch. Subscribe to receive an email when something new is posted, so you won’t miss any important tips.

Choosing a Repair Company

Whether you’re talking about heating or cooling, repairing or replacing a system, you want a company that can advise you reliably based on what is in your best interest, not based on what is convenient or what earns them the most money (commissions). We'll help you choose the best solution to fit your needs. Check out our many posts at HVAC News You Can Use and our podcasts.

Going Green

We're concerned about the environment and know all the latest technologies - such as geothermal systems, LED lights, and smart thermostats - that can reduce energy and put more "green" in your pocket!  We've provided HVAC systems in certified LEED buildings and written many posts on ways to Go Green.

The Sign of Service

We are a repair company performing a full range of commercial and residential heating, air conditioning, energy management and comfort products service, maintenance, and installation. We are a locally-owned company serving Nashville-Davidson County and the surrounding counties including Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson, Sumner, Robertson, and Cheatham.

Who We Are

Our service technicians are fully trained and experienced.  We can tackle the most complicated system to the simplest of systems – from large commercial plants to single-family homes.  Our ownership group of Eddie Hutton, Tony Anderson, Roger Eldridge,  Swaney Powers and Alan Seilbeck have over 125 years combined experience as leaders in the HVAC industry.


We are proud of our dispatchers that respond to your telephone call. When your system is down they make things happen. Our trucks are loaded with most parts needed for a quick repair. You can call day and night 7 days a week. Our normal weekday hours are 7:00AM to 5:00PM. Click on the button below to schedule a service call online. Emails and forms can only be answered weekdays from 7-5.”  

615-832-8500 Online Service Call


Did you know you should service your HVAC on a regular schedule – just like you would your car?  We have specialized maintenance programs to ensure the clean, energy efficient and safe operation of your HVAC systems.  This helps minimize service interruptions/breakdowns and maximize your equipment's lifespan.  All maintenance contract customers are assigned a primary technician that will get to know your facility and equipment and will treat it like his own.  You’ll receive discounts on repairs or new installations, and get priority service when it is cold or hot outside and you need service promptly.  Plus, maintenance contract customers are never charged overtime rates for emergency services after-hours, weekends or holidays. We’ll teach you how to save on maintenance costs by showing you things you can do yourself and when you need a technician. Here are some good posts:  Repair vs. Replace, Things to Try Before Calling for Service, Springtime Tips that Pay Off.


Our team takes on HVAC projects for office, school, retail and industrial facilities. Check out these case studies:

Replacement of a 250-ton Cooling Tower

Ductless HVAC at Brentwood Middle School