Your HVAC system is one of the most powerful systems in your home. Your furnace keeps every room toasty warm on the coldest days, while your air conditioner cools things down on the warmest.
Ever wonder how all of that is possible?
What is refrigerant?
Refrigerant is a compound that exists in either fluid or gaseous state. Its purpose is to absorb the heat around it and provide cool air as it combines with compressors and evaporators.
Your air conditioner contains refrigerant inside copper coils. As refrigerant absorbs heat from the air supply, it moves it from gas to liquid as a fan blows hot air over the coils. When refrigerant returns to a cool state, it turns back into gas. A fan inside the equipment blows air over the coils to distribute the cool air into the ventilation system and throughout your home.
Are refrigerants safe?
If you’ve heard anything about refrigerants lately, it might be because of phase-out over the past few years. Chlorofluorocarbons, sometimes referred to as R12, were known to contribute to greenhouse gas, so it was phased out in 1994. It’s replacement - hydrochlorofluorocarbons, including R22, was less damaging to the environment. But as technology increased and R22 was also found to have damaging effects on the environment, the EPA ordered its complete phase out by 2020.
Its replacement is hydrofluorocarbons, and includes R410A and R134. These products leave out chlorine, and are deemed to be safer for our environment.
If your air conditioner currently uses R22, you will no longer be able to add refrigerant as your equipment needs repair. You will have to replace your equipment as you have problems with your air conditioner.
Is it only air conditioners that use refrigerant?
While a lot of homes in Colorado use gas-forced air, some use heat pumps to heat the air supply throughout the winter. Heat pumps use refrigerant in the same fashion as an air conditioner. But instead of removing the heat from inside, it works in reverse and removes the cooled air from the inside. In this case, the refrigerant is vital to the heating process, and any problems with the refrigerant will cause a problem within the system.
Have you noticed a problem with the temperatures inside your home? It might be your refrigerant. For repairs to your air conditioner or heat pump, call one of our skilled professionals today.