If “A man whose only tool is a hammer tends to treat everything like a nail,” then what happens on an air conditioning service call when a technician’s only performance diagnostic tool is a set of refrigerant gauges?
Too many technicians think their gauges are the only tool they have or need to find out if an HVAC system is operating correctly when performing air conditioning service. And those technicians are just wrong. Refrigerant gauges were made to put refrigerant into systems and to take refrigerant out. They can also be used to help calculate superheat and subcooling. Refrigerant gauges only monitor a single conditional variable in the operation of a cooling system. Air conditioning service should include much more than just a quick look at a systems refrigerant charge.
Refrigerant gauges don’t tell a technician very much about a systems operating performance when performing air conditioning service for one very simple reason they were never designed to.
Refrigerant gauges became the go-to performance diagnostic tool by default not by design.
As remarkable a tool as they are, even the refrigerant gauge can’t be used for everything when performing air conditioning service. We could but we won’t go into a discussion of how “proper refrigerant charge” is dependent on outdoor ambient conditions, indoor air flow, and indoor humidity and temperature.
And if these reasons aren’t enough to motivate contractors, technicians, and home owners to give up using the wrong tool for the right job when performing air conditioning service there is an even better reason to stop using refrigerant gauges for something they were never intended to do.
THEY PROVIDE VERY LITTLE USEFUL PERFORMANCE DIAGNOSTIC INFORMATION
Using Total Performance Diagnostics is almost too easy
Home owners keep living with expensive poorly operating air conditions systems when technicians can’t identify system performance problems during routine air conditioning service calls.