How Does Air Conditioning Refrigerant Work?

Refrigerant is the substance that makes you air conditioner work: shifting from a liquid to a gaseous state and back, and pulling heat out of the air in the process. A lot of people think that air conditioners consume refrigerant like fuel, but nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, when refrigerant levels go down, it can create a big problem, and with our hot weather in Huntsville, TX, big problems are not something we need. Knowing how refrigerant works, and what happens when it runs low, can help explain a lot about the inner workings of your system and why you sometimes need repairs.

A Closed Loop

Refrigerant can refer to a number of different compound chemicals, and your system needs a specific type in a specific amount. That balance is important to facilitate the air conditioning process. The refrigerant is first shifted to a liquid state and placed under a great deal of pressure. Then specific amounts of that pressurized liquid are released into the evaporator coils and shifts back to a gas. As it does so, it pulls heat from the nearby air, which is then sent on into your home. The refrigerant then returns to the beginning of the loop to start the process anew.

Leaks Cause Problem

Theoretically the loop that the refrigerant travels through is closed, which means that the levels should never drop since the air conditioner doesn’t consume the refrigerant at all. But sometimes leaks spring up, and when they do, the refrigerant levels drop. They won’t cool the air as efficiently and the increased strain means that there’s an increased likelihood of more serious repairs in the future.

If you detect a refrigerant leak – perhaps by noticing frost on the evaporator coils or simply spotting an unexpected rise in your bills – then call the experts at Ardon Maintenance right away!

Comments are closed.