All About Refrigerant

What is Refrigerant?

Refrigerant is a compound used as a cooling agent, typically found in either fluid or gaseous form. It absorbs heat and produces cool air in its place after it has entered into a compressor and evaporator. Refrigerant is used in heating and air conditioning systems, car air conditioners, refrigerators, and other items with a cooling function. There are many different types of refrigerants and which kind of refrigerant should be used depends on the appliance or item. 

Determining Which Refrigerant to Use 

fridgerant When figuring out which type of refrigerant should be used, homeowners should consult the appliance in question. Often there is a descriptive sticker with various specifications, including the type of refrigerant that should be used. If no sticker is present, it’s recommended to consult the user manual. However, homeowners should consult a professional AC technician if the needed information cannot be obtained by either means. 

For air conditioning units built before 2010, R22 refrigerant, or Freon, is more than likely the refrigerant used. Freon is not used as a refrigerant for newer AC units because it was banned in 2010 due to the environmental damages it has been linked to. 

Homeowners should know that it’s important to determine the exact type of refrigerant that should be used because refrigerants are not to be used at random. Using the wrong type of refrigerant could end up causing damage to your appliance. 

Refrigerant Leaks: What Causes Them?

hvac Refrigerant leaks are common among appliances that use them, and it is one of the top maintenance issues in refrigerant-based machines. Refrigerant leaks can happen due to wear and tear from an older appliance that has exceeded its shelf life or rust and pinholes in the tubing that acids have caused. 

Normally, leaks are not a cause for concern and can easily be repaired by a qualified technician. However, sometimes these leaks can require larger repairs and replacement of the refrigerant and any damaged lines. 

When to Call a Professional 

Some of the most common symptoms of a refrigerant leak are a reduction in cooling capabilities, the AC not keeping the home cool enough, hissing and gurgling noises, and frozen coils. Of course, there are other symptoms that homeowners should be aware of, too.

These symptoms include: 

  • Utility bills that are higher than usual 
  • AC taking longer to cool down the home
  • Increased humidity inside the home
  • Evaporator coils that are frozen 
  • AC leaking water 
  • AC produces warm air instead of cold air
  • Tiny bubbles forming in the evaporator coils 

Many homeowners think the solution to a refrigerant leak is as simple as adding new refrigerant. However, if the leak is not found and fixed, the refrigerant will continue to leak, and the AC will continue to have issues. That’s why it’s important to call a professional immediately when a leak is first noticed.

About RiverView Mechanical 

RiverView Mechanical is a locally-owned business serving its neighbors in Hellam, PA, and the surrounding areas. They provide straightforward pricing, 24-hour emergency service, and a satisfaction guarantee. Call them today for air conditioning services in Hellam, PA.