If you have an air conditioner helping to keep your home cool in the summer, refrigerant is an integral part of making the system work.
But what is refrigerant? How does it work? Glad you asked.
Let’s start with how an air conditioner works. An air conditioner transfers hot, moist air from inside your home to the outside. It does so by using components both inside and outside. The inside unit is called an air handler. It uses an evaporator coil and fan to move the air supply around.
The outside unit has a compression, condenser coil, and fan. As refrigerant absorbs heat from the indoor air, it moves from a low pressure gas to a high pressure liquid. The inside components send refrigerant outside where a fan blows hot air over the coils, and exhausts it to the outside. The refrigeration cools down, turns back to the low pressure gas, moves back inside, and the process starts all over again.
Without refrigerant, your house wouldn’t be able to stay cool. It helps the mechanical parts with the exchange of hot and cold air.
Refrigerant is in a constant loop through tubing to move from low pressure to high pressure gas. Refrigerants have gone through a lot of changes over the years. R-22 and other hydrochlorofluorocarbons have been found to have harmful effects on the environment. As such, the older refrigerants became illegal as of January 2020, which means all equipment produced from that point forward must use a newer, less damaging refrigerant. If your older model needs work or can no longer keep up with demand, you will be forced to replace the AC system with one that no longer uses R-22.
New models now use a refrigerant called R-410A. This is a safer refrigerant, and makes you comply with the latest regulations and controls governing how air conditioners are manufactured. Moving to the newer, safer model will give you more efficiency, and help you and your family stay cold for years to come.
How old is your air conditioner? What type of refrigerant does your system use?
Is it time to install a new one? We can help you with any questions you have.