Refrigerant is a compound typically found in either a fluid or gaseous state. It readily absorbs heat from the environment and can provide refrigeration or air conditioning when combined with other components such as compressors and evaporators. If you have heard about the R22 refrigerant phase out in favour of R410A refrigerant, you might be especially interested to know more about how refrigerant works and what part it plays in cooling your home.
How Refrigerant Works
Without refrigerant, there would be no air conditioning, refrigeration or freezing technology.
Air conditioners contain refrigerant inside copper coils. As refrigerant absorbs heat from indoor air, it transitions from a low-pressure gas to a high-pressure liquid. Air conditioning components send the refrigerant outside where a fan blows hot air over the coils and exhausts it to the exterior.
The refrigerant then cools down and turns back into a low-pressure gas. Another fan located inside the home blows air over the cool coils to distribute the resulting cold air throughout the building. Then the cycle repeats.
Types of Refrigerants
The most common refrigerants used for air conditioning over the years include:
- Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), including R12: This is known to contribute to the depletion of the ozone layers of the atmosphere which is not only harmful to the surface of the earth but destructive to human beings as well. Production of new stocks ceased in 1994.
- Hydro chlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), including R22: Slightly less damaging to the ozone than R12, but the Environmental Protection Agency EPA has mandated a phase out as a result of the damaging effect it has on the environment and human.
- Hydro fluorocarbons (HFCs), including R410A and R134: With no chlorine in the mix, this is safer for the environment and is now being used in place of R22. Air conditioners that run on R410A are more efficient, offer better air quality, increase comfort and improve reliability.
Is it Time to Upgrade?
Go outside and take a look at the exterior component of your air conditioner. If it says R22 on the side, you’re cooling your home with an outdated, environmentally hazardous refrigerant.
You can’t simply replace R22 with R410A because system parts aren’t compatible. This means the next time your aging air conditioner requires maintenance and/or servicing – especially a refrigerant-related one – it’s probably time to upgrade to a unit that runs on R410A. While this requires an investment, the resulting increased efficiency, better air quality, increased comfort and improved reliability are worth it, and no harm to the environment.
When you’re ready to explore upgrading to an R410A air conditioner, please contact John Holt Cooling. We offer accurate sizing and extended warranty plans for the best upgrade experience possible.
Yes, we provide cooling solution that aligns with green environment.