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Understanding the Role of Refrigerant in Your AC

refrigerant-role-air-conditionerIf you are like most homeowners, it’s very likely that you don’t even realize just how your cooling system’s refrigerant is one of the most vital components there is to an air conditioner. Without the right level of refrigerant—refrigerant charge—your air conditioner simply cannot do its job at all.

Therefore, it’s vital that you understand the basics of how refrigerant works, and understand that if you are losing this important fluid, that you have a leak. Many homeowners mistakenly assume that air conditioners use up refrigerant like a car uses up gasoline, but this is simply not the case.

Of course, if you do have a refrigerant leak, then we are the team to call for quality AC repairs in Hayward, CA. In the meantime though, we’ve provided some insight below into the importance of this cooling system component.

What Exactly Is Refrigerant?

It’s easy to assume that refrigerant is simply a single liquid, which resides within your cooling system. But actually, it’s a combination of different heat transfer fluids used in all central AC and heat pump systems. This refrigerant travels between the two units of your cooling system—the inside unit and the outdoor unit.

Within your air conditioning system there exists a component called the evaporator coil. The function of this coil is as the name implies: it evaporates the refrigerant in order to absorb heat from the surrounding area. Therefore, if you have a traditional central air conditioner, the refrigerant is tasked with removing heat from your home. If you’re using a heat pump system, this process can be reversed—pulling heat from the outdoors and expelling it indoors to provide you with heat during the winter.

Following this step in the process, the refrigerant, now in gas form, is sent down the refrigerant line to the other coil—the condenser coil—where it condenses back into a liquid, and heat is either released into or out of your home, helping your AC system or heat pump to work effectively.

Why You Don’t Want to Lose Refrigerant

As we mentioned above, if you are suffering from refrigerant loss, it means that there is a leak. It’s vital that you have the source of the leak located and repaired so that your air conditioning system doesn’t suffer. Without the right level of refrigerant, your cooling system can’t perform effectively or efficiently, and eventually this will lead to a full system breakdown.

An amateur HVAC handyman, if inspecting a refrigerant leak, may look at it and simply recharge, or refill, the refrigerant, and call it a day. This is not a handyman you should keep! This doesn’t solve the root cause of the problem. The leak has to be repaired so you don’t continue losing refrigerant. The damage done to your air conditioner from refrigerant loss can be irreversible and leave you having to replace the system far sooner than you would have had to otherwise.

For superior air conditioning services, contact Comfy Heating & Air Conditioning Inc. today!

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