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What is Refrigerant and How Does It Work?

There are numerous types of refrigerant uses in a wide variety of residential and commercial applications. From natural refrigerants like ammonia and water to the latest in ozone-friendly R-410A, which is the current standard amongst air conditioning manufacturers, there are various kinds for various applications. But what is refrigerant and how does it work? The standard refrigerant has been widely tested for flammability and toxicity, and today’s refrigerants have only a minimal impact on the environment, while still remaining effective and efficient as a chemical that absorbs thermal energy at low temperatures and dissipates thermal energy at high temperatures. It’s important to know how refrigerant works because the more your know the better chance you will have at recognizing any problems. Call Sound Heating if you would like more information about the refrigerant that circulates through your coils or if you would like to schedule air conditioning services in Puyallup.

Let’s begin with the compressor. As the engine of the refrigerant cycle, it takes the low pressure, low temperature gas from the indoor evaporator coil and turns it into a high pressure, high temperature gas, one that is substantially higher than the outside temperature. It then travels to the condenser coils to be dissipated into the outside air with the help of an exhaust fan. It has now been condensed (hence the name), but it is not yet cool enough. It flows into an expansion valve where it cools rapidly and now can be used as a material for cooling. The evaporator coil circulates this cold, liquid refrigerant and the thermal interaction that occurs between the refrigerant and the warm indoor air causes the refrigerant to turn into a gas. Hence the cycle continues.

For a long time, R-22 (also known as Freon) was the standard in the HVAC industry, but it has since been exposed as a potential environmental hazard, and is now being phased out of production. Because today’s refrigerants are not able to be retrofitted into systems designed to handle this older standard, it’s important to recognize how this phase-out could affect you.

Call Sound Heating today for professional air conditioning services in Puyallup, OR.

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