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Refrigerant and AC Systems: What You Should Know

Central air conditioners need refrigerant, a chemical blend, in order to move heat around. Heat transfer is essential to the cooling process, because cool air cannot be made without first removing heat. These are the very basics of refrigerant, and there’s not too much more you really need to know about how the refrigeration process works (unless you really want to know or you’re training to be a technician).

However, there are a few things you should know in order to ensure that your air conditioner is serviced properly.

It Doesn’t Just Disappear

Refrigerant is a chemical blend designed to stay inside of the air conditioning system, removing heat and releasing it outside. However, the refrigerant itself doesn’t dissipate into the air. This would be a rather large design flaw.

If refrigerant disappears from your air conditioning system, it’s because there is a leak in the system. The leak may be at the compressor or anywhere along the refrigerant line. So if a technician tells you that you just need to recharge refrigerant every year, you should be suspicious. Quality technicians seal the leak before recharging the system, and it’s okay to seek a second opinion.

You Have to Get the Right Type

Older air conditioning systems used R-22 refrigerant as a standard. Concerns about this refrigerant’s impact on the environment, however, lead to bans on its use, and systems are no longer manufactured to use R-22. This refrigerant is slowly getting phased out, but if you have an older AC system, it would be very costly to upgrade it to use the current refrigerant standard, R-410A.

When refrigerant leaks from your AC system, you have to replace it with a refrigerant of the same type. That’s why, after 10-15 years of having a system that uses R-22, it’s a good idea to replace it. This way, you don’t have to spend so much on R-22, which is getting harder and harder to find and afford. And, you can feel better about your environmental impact.

It must Be Disposed of Safely

And only EPA-certified technicians can do that for you. Make sure that you’re working with people with the proper certifications in order to refrigerant to be disposed of according to EPA standards. In fact, any air conditioning service requires the help of trained, experienced technicians so that you can trust the job is done properly.

Call Bartels Heating & Cooling to get in touch with air conditioning installers and service technicians in Oxford.

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