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Guide to Air Conditioning Refrigerant

21 Sep 2023

The air conditioning system should be filled with several components for ensuring it runs in the most efficient way. The key ingredient for smooth running of your system is refrigerant. For putting it in a simple way, refrigerant create cool air that circulates your home with an air conditioner. Without it, your AC system will not work properly.

Go through this blogpost to know how refrigerant has a vital part in the domestic and commercial air conditioning system, how you can check the levels of your refrigerant and what you should do when detecting a leak in the refrigerant.

What is air conditioner refrigerant?

The refrigerant chosen for air conditioning systems is found in liquid or gas form. This is a major component for the system as it absorbs the heat from environment and then converts it into cooling air flow when being combined together with other air conditioner components.

A refrigerant is used in the air conditioning system for taking out room’s heat and throwing it out into the environment. It needs to undergo changes in the phase for absorbing and compressing heat to distribute fresh air in the room. It can change from liquid to gas form for the absorption of room’s heat and then get back to liquid when the compressor will compress it. The suitable refrigerant will be chosen based on certain factors such as – non-corrosiveness, safety measures like inflammability and toxicity and thermo dynamic properties. But several fluids act like a refrigerant though CFCs are the most popular refrigerant.

Different kinds of old as well as new refrigerants

  • Chloro-Fluoro-Carbons and Hydro-Chloro-Fluoro-Carbons– In the past, Chlorofluorocarbon or CFC or Freon had been the common refrigerant used. But CFCs were replaced with hydrochlorofluorocarbons or HCFCs and R-22 became the most commonly used HCFC refrigerant. HCFCs are somewhat better than CFCs as they have chlorine in them which is harmful for the environment.
  • Hydro-Fluro-Carbons – The manufacturers made another set of refrigerators known as HFCs for eliminating harmful chlorine from the refrigerants. Though HFC has the probability to fuel global warming, they are much better when compared to HCFCs which deplete ozone layer. HFCs used in these air conditioners will be R-410A which seem to be better when compared to R-22 as it prevents depletion of ozone and is efficient in terms of energy. Other two HFCs used are R-32 for the air conditioner and R-134A for the refrigerators. R32 refrigerant is somewhat better than R-410A as it has lower chances for global warming.
  • Hydro-Carbons – R-20 and R-600A has chemicals names of Propane and Iso-Butane respectively. These two environment friendly refrigerants are available in the market now. The refrigerants are halogen free, ozone friendly and have least potential of global warming. But hydro carbons are very efficient and flammable. This is not a major concern as manufacturers using these refrigerants will ensure that they meet all the safety measures. There aren’t any reports of R-600A or R-290 accidents for commercial purpose and so, they are safe. The manufacturers use these refrigerants as more consumers are choosing them. By taking into consideration high safety standards and advancement of technology in the industry, these are made safe for the consumers and the environment.

What kind of refrigerant is used in the air conditioning system?

There are different types of refrigerant used in the refrigeration products. But when you choose air conditioning systems, the two main types are – R22 refrigerant or Freon and R410A or Puron. So, Puron is environment friendly when compared to Freon and this is a popular choice for the latest AC systems.

The type of refrigerant in air conditioning system depends on how old the system is. Different manufacturers of air conditioning systems are looking to replace Freon with Puron. This will be betterfor the environment and have same effective cooling properties. But the only downfall is Puron cannot be used with Freon systems which means you need to replace the old system.

Freon is used as refrigerant in your central air conditioning system for a long time. Its use can be harmful for the environment and so, has been banned from being manufactured.

How will aircon refrigerant work in air conditioning system?

Air conditioner refrigerant is the vital part of air cooling process which has been situated inside copper coil of the system. The job of refrigerant is to travel through the system to different parts of air conditioner, changing from low-pressure gas to high-pressure liquid. Besides, it absorbs heat and then releases it through the journey for allowing cool air to enter into the rooms of your house.

When a refrigerant travels to outdoor unit, it produces heat with condensation which forces to cool down. On the other hand, when it reaches indoor unit, the refrigerant leads to evaporation due to decreased temperature that gets into contact with the warmer air. The procedure will repeat itself which blows out steady cool air constantly and blows into a room through vents and fans.

The refrigerant cycle in your air conditioning system will be constant and the refrigerant will remain at the same level throughout the life of your systemBut this will be on the assumption that your system has not encountered any leakage.

How you can detect leakage in the conditioner refrigerant

Freon leaks may be very harmful to the environment, but to anyone who comes into contact with the substance. There are several signs to consider with some very obvious than the others:

  • Low airflow and warm air Do you find your air conditioning system blowing out warm air? Well, when there is warm air from the vents of your system or the airflow is not what should be, then this may denote low air conditioner refrigerant pressure or refrigerant leak.
  • Increase in utility bills – The electricity bills may be higher than usual. This means your AC system works hard for the right amount of cool air from loss of refrigerant.
  • Noisy AC system - Your system may become noisier than usual. These gurgling noises denote there is a fault within the system and f there is a leak in the refrigerant.
  • Refrigerant poisoning - If someone in your house has nausea or dizziness or they are struggling to breathe, then you need to seek for medical help immediately. This might be due to the refrigerant being released into the environment.

What you should do when you detect a leak in the refrigerant

It is necessary to fix a refrigerant leak quickly once it has been confirmed. If you are not sure about it, then contact with the manufacturer of your air conditioning who will conduct some tests to check for the leakage. In the case your AC system runs on Freon, then it is very important to get in touch with an engineer as the exposure to refrigerant chemicals may be dangerous.

Select the right air conditioning refrigerant for your need

Air conditioner refrigerant is necessary for proper functioning of air conditioning system. This can ensure you obtain cool air in your home and with the right type, it will be inexpensive for you.

If you require further information about the air conditioning system, then contact our qualified engineers who can help in this regard. When you detect there is a leak in the refrigerant or other problem with the system, air conditioning manufacturer soon as possible to get proper guidance and expert advice.