It’s warming up here in Phoenix and your air conditioner will soon be in overdrive to keep you cool. Although the intense heat of the Arizona summer only lasts a few months, it does take a toll on your air conditioners. So we thought we’d share a little refrigerant 101 with you.
One of the primary components of your air conditioner is the refrigerant or cooling fluid; without it, you wouldn’t have cold air in your home or office space. Let’s take a look at some the basics regarding what refrigerant is and why it is so important.
What’s Refrigerant? What Does it Do?
In order to get the hot air out of your home, the AC system has a fluid running through it called refrigerant which flows between the indoor unit and the outdoor unit. The refrigerant absorbs heat from your home and brings it to the outside unit where the warm air is then released.
The fluid flows back into the inside unit, picks up hot air again, and releases it to the outside. This is a continuous loop that happens while air conditioning systems run. An inefficient flow of refrigerant lowers cooling capabilities. This drastically increases costs because the air conditioner has to run longer to keep the building cool at the desired temperature.
Why Check Refrigerant Levels?
At the end of the day, refrigerant is essential in keeping your home cool. At this point in time, this is what technology calls for. Because of the importance of a well-performing system, regular inspections or maintenance calls are required to ensure it is sufficiently charged and safe.
In most cases, refrigerant doesn’t usually get “used up” over time. So when one our technicians identifies low fluid levels, there is a strong possibility there is a leak in the system. If the levels drop too low, damage could occur, resulting in poor performance of your air conditioner.
What is the R-22 Phaseout?
The first generation of refrigerant, called R-22, was found to have a negative impact on the environment. The phase-out of this refrigerant began back in 2010 when production was decreased. But in the beginning of 2020, the ozone-depleting substance officially became illegal.
Most, if not all old air conditioners that use R-22 will have been replaced by then. But many Arizona homeowners are unaware of the change. Some haven’t given it much thought as they haven’t had to. Some of the repairs done on an old R-22 system require recharging and the cost is extremely high. Many HVAC companies aren’t offering services for these types of units.
What Type of Refrigerant is Good?
New air conditioning systems typically use a more environmentally-friendly R-410A refrigerant. For the most part, this has been the common replacement for outdated or banned models. If you’re cooling system is nearing its demise or the EPA is requiring you to upgrade, consider planning your replacement now.
Getting a good feel for modernized systems that use the new R-410A refrigerant will help you make an efficient, confident decision that won’t make you sweat. If you happen to have any questions about our refrigerant 101 blog or you’re looking to have a new air conditioner installed, you can give us a call at 623-201-5118.
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