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Understanding Refrigerant

									Understanding Refrigerant

There are many different aspects of the average air conditioning system that work together to improve your home climate. As important as your ducts and the mechanical design of your AC unit are, it really all starts with the refrigerant.

The Role of Refrigerant

This chemical compound helps to fulfill two major tasks: extract heat from your interior and expel that heat to the outside. It does so by flowing through the coil system and engaging in a transfer of heat with the surrounding air. This is possible because the refrigerant absorbs heat when evaporating and gives heat off when condensing. The fluid works hard to cool air by means of the evaporator coil and discards the absorbed heat by means of the condenser coil. This chemical system is complimented by the work of mechanical components that make everything fall into place, but when it comes to the actual cooling process, the refrigerant is where the magic happens.


Freon, a trademark name that encompasses a number of refrigerant compounds, was originally developed in 1928 as the first non-toxic, non-flammable refrigerant gas. It was used widely in air conditioning systems for quite some time before being banned and phased out as part of the Montreal Protocol due to its harmful effects on the ozone layer. Examples of today’s most commonly used refrigerant types are R-410A, R-407C, and R-134a. While none of them contribute to ozone depletion, each of them display their own characteristics in terms of energy and cost-efficiency, operating pressure, and similarity to Freon, which is important when retrofitting older systems to operate on new refrigerants.

Taking Care of Your System

Ensuring that the refrigerant in a system is doing its best work is a matter of knowing what refrigerant is right for which system, keeping the coils in good shape, and more. Some basic maintenance, like taking a look at your coils to spot damage or dirt, can be performed at home. However, more involved procedures like coil repair, a refrigerant charge, or advanced diagnosis of problems, need to be undertaken by experienced and licensed HVAC professionals. Safe maintenance is the best maintenance, so don’t hesitate to call on a technician to get that refrigeration cycle moving smoothly again!

At Climate Change YYC, we believe that the better you understand your HVAC equipment, the more you will be able to get out of your investment. For AC repair, refrigerant charging, and beyond, give us a call at (403) 819-2156 today!

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