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Why Refrigerant Leaks Are Such a Big Problem

You’ll hear a lot about the importance of refrigerant in your air conditioning system, both on this site and others. The vital role that refrigerant plays for air conditioners really can’t be underestimated. However, you rarely find an explanation of what refrigerant actually is, and why it’s so important. With that in mind, let’s take a look at how refrigerant fits into the rest of the system, and why the system suffers when deprived of it.

What Refrigerant Is

There is technically no substance that is simply referred to as “refrigerant.” This is actually a catch-all phrase to describe a variety of different liquids that all do more or less the same thing: transport thermal energy from one place to the other. This is done by evaporating the refrigerant to absorb heat, then condensing it to release that heat. This is why air conditioners have an evaporator coil inside the home and a condenser unit outside. Those two coils allow the air conditioner to use refrigerant to move heat out of the house. The refrigerant is never consumed by the air conditioner; it is simply recycled through the system the entire time.

Refrigerant Leaks

The reason that refrigerant leaks are such a big problem is that they deprive the system of the refrigerant it needs to operate. If refrigerant levels are low, the evaporator coil can freeze over and the compressor break down. If the refrigerant is entirely drained from the system, the air conditioner will break down entirely. This is why you need to call a professional as soon as you notice fluid of any type leaking from your air conditioning system. It might be a refrigerant leak, which means your system is in jeopardy.

If you think your air conditioner may have a refrigerant leak, call Sound Heating. We repair air conditioners throughout Tacoma, WA.

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