Posted on: 28 February 2023
What do homeowners need to know about the refrigerant in their AC system? Refrigerant is a necessary part of your home's central air conditioner. Without it, this system wouldn't keep your home cold. Whether this is your first home or your first experience with air conditioning, take a look at what you should know about refrigerant products and air conditioning system repairs.
What Is Refrigerant?
This liquid coolant is a chemical that the AC system turns into gas and then back into a liquid. With the help of an outdoor compressor or condenser, the refrigerant goes through these state-of-matter changes. The process helps your air conditioner to draw heat from the air and cool your home.
Are All AC Refrigerants the Same?
No, all AC refrigerants are not the same. There are different chemicals that different systems use. Commonly used refrigerants include CFC-12, HCFC-22 (also known as R-22), R-410A, and R-32. CFC-12 and R-22 refrigerants are no longer available in new air conditioners. These refrigerants can harm the Earth's ozone layer, making them environmental hazards.
Even though R-410A was previously considered the next generation or clean alternative to CFC and HCFC coolants, it may not remain the gold standard R-410A is an HFC coolant. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) AIM Act is currently phasing down the use of HFCs in the United States. More efficient coolants, such as R-454B or R-32, have a lower environmental impact (compared to R-410A). Look for these coolants in new systems.
Can HVAC Contractors Repair Systems With Older Refrigerant Types?
Yes, a qualified HVAC technician can repair an older air conditioner that uses phased-out refrigerants, such as HCFC-22. Even though older refrigerants are no longer made in the U.S. or imported, a Section 608-certified technician can use recovered or reclaimed coolant to repair a leaking or damaged air conditioner.
Does Refrigerant Require Routine Maintenance?
Unlike the filter in your central air conditioner, the refrigerant won't require a periodic change. The refrigerant level should remain constant. But if the line has a leak, it will drop. This impacts the system's ability to cool your home. If your air conditioner turns on and blows warm air, it's possible that you have a refrigerant leak.
Never attempt to repair a broken refrigerant line yourself. This is a dangerous DIY that could cause serious injury. Contact an HVAC contractor for a line inspection and for AC system repairs or replacement.Share