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Understanding Refrigerant and the Role it Plays in Your AC

You may know that your home’s AC system uses refrigerant, but what does a refrigerant do exactly? If you find yourself asking this question, don’t be embarrassed. There are many homeowners who don’t know the exact role that refrigerant plays in providing cool air for their home.

You can keep reading to learn more about how refrigerant works, different types of refrigerant, and why AC maintenance is important for maintaining your refrigerant charge. It’s important to be educated about how your AC works so that you can identify when something is wrong.

How Does Refrigerant Work? 

To put it simply, refrigerant in your air conditioning unit helps to absorb heat from the air that passes through your AC unit. The heat then gets transferred outside of your home, so that only cool air recirculates. Refrigerant can be in either a gas form or a liquid form, and it transitions between both forms every day inside your AC unit as each cooling cycle happens.

Your refrigerant coil channels refrigerant when it is in its liquid form to aid in cooling. This is the part of the process where the refrigerant absorbs heat to move it outside of your home. Of course, the refrigerant has to work with other components inside of your AC unit to provide cooling, like the blower fan.

Without a blower fan to keep the air moving, your home could never get cool because air would remain inside of the system. At the same time, the refrigerant will continue removing heat from the existing air until the coils freeze, which leads to even more problems.

Types of Refrigerant

You may hear refrigerant also referred to as Freon. Freon was actually a specific brand name of refrigerant that is currently being phased out because of its negative impact on our atmosphere. It is not still used, except for in very old systems that are still operating. While a suitable replacement was found, the EPA is constantly looking for ways to continue improving AC refrigerant for our environment and to improve efficiency. 

Importance of AC Maintenance

You should schedule routine maintenance for your air conditioner at least once each year. It’s good practice for a lot of reasons, especially when it comes to your AC’s refrigerant charge. It’s not possible for your air conditioner to lose refrigerant over time unless you have a leak. Your air conditioning unit can use the same refrigerant over its entire lifespan because the refrigerant stays within the lines and continues to cycle through.

However, a leak can lower your refrigerant levels and cause your AC to not cool as well as it should. We always check refrigerant levels during a routine maintenance appointment, which makes it a great time to identify potential leaks before they become a problem. If your refrigerant level is lower than it should be, we can check the lines for any leaks and repair them during the appointment. Then we will recharge your refrigerant so that your AC continues to cool your home effectively.

Contact RKM Heating and Air Conditioning today to schedule an appointment with us. Done Right, Priced Right.

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