Most folks know the basics about air conditioners in their homes. Refrigerant is one of the primary ingredients to producing cooler temperatures, and without it, you have nothing but warm air and a bunch of problems. Beyond knowing that it is included in central air conditioning, few know more. Today we at Air Supply Heating and Air Conditioning would like to expound on the basics of refrigerant in your central air conditioning system.
Purpose of AC Refrigerant
Because cool air cannot be made without first removing heat; as heat transfer is essential to the cooling process, the central air conditioner depends on the refrigerant, which is a chemical blend. Unlike gas or oil that dissipates as it gets used, refrigerant is designed to be recycled continually is it cycles through the cooling process. It absorbs the heat in the air and releases it outdoors.
Air Conditioner Refrigerant Leaks
When it comes to the refrigerant being at insufficient levels, it is generally due to a leak, unless it was recently installed and the professionals neglected the refrigerant charge (fairly unlikely, but possible). The common places of a refrigerant leak are in the refrigerant line or the compressor. If your air conditioner requires a refrigerant recharge frequently, there is room for concern.
R22 Freon Refrigerant Replacement
On older air conditioner systems used R-22 refrigerant as a standard, but newer models do not because of the concerns R-22 has on the environment. You have to replace it with a refrigerant of the same type when the refrigerant leaks from the air conditioner system. Because it is getting phased out, the refrigerant R-22 is getting more pricey to recharge. Older models that require additional refrigerant charge should be considered for retirement for a more efficient model that relies on the improved refrigerants be implemented.
Is an Air Conditioner Freon or Refrigerant Leak Harmful?
When you do have refrigerant leaks, it takes an EPA – certified technician to perform leak diagnostic tests to locate the source of the leak, execute spot on sealing as well recharge your according to EPA standards are important. Allowing the refrigerant to leak has more the one consequence, below are a few examples.
1) Damage to the Environment. Many kinds of refrigerants such as R-22 are found to damage the ozone layer. Handling and disposal of refrigerants are controlled by the Environmental Protection Agency and it is not a DIY project.
2) Excessive Energy Consumption. More energy is consumed when your unit operates trying unsuccessfully to reach the set temperature; which increases your utility bills. With a 10% drop in refrigerant volume due to a refrigerant leak, your system can use as much as 205 more power.
3) Potential Health Risks. Breathing evaporated refrigerant in large quantities, due to a severe leak, can damage your lungs and contact with skin can cause burns. Professionals are trained to safely handle refrigerant and should be the only ones who maintain your refrigerant.
4) Central AC System Damage. Low refrigerant not only produces warm air, but it puts additional burdens on the system as it tries to lower the temperatures, compensating for the loss of refrigerant. As it does so, it expedites wear and tear, causing the need for additional repairs.