The Role Refrigerant Plays in Your Air Conditioner

Refrigerant is a vital part of any air conditioning system. Even so, most people are unaware of what it actually is or how it works. The more you understand about your air conditioner, the better you’ll be able to identify and react to problems. With that in mind, let’s examine what refrigerant actually is and how it works within your air conditioner.


What Is Refrigerant?

Refrigerant is a broad term that covers a lot of different chemicals. Each of these chemicals is used for more or less the same purpose: to transfer heat from one place to another. This is done by evaporating and condensing the refrigerant. When refrigerant is in gaseous form, it absorbs heat from the surrounding air. When that refrigerant is condensed back into liquid form, it releases the stored heat.

How Your Air Conditioner Works

Your air conditioner doesn’t blow cold air into your home, as most people think. Rather, it absorbs heat from the air in your home and releases it outside. It does this by evaporating refrigerant in a coil located inside the indoor unit. The refrigerant gas draws heat through the coil and absorbs it. Then, the gas travels down the refrigerant line to the condenser unit outside. The condenser unit condenses the refrigerant back into a liquid to release the heat outside. This cycle continues for as long as the air conditioner is operating. One important thing to remember is that refrigerant is never consumed by the air conditioner. The only time refrigerant levels would be low is if a leak occurs, or if the system didn’t receive enough during installation. If you notice liquid leaking from your air conditioner, call for repairs right away.

If you’d like to know more about refrigerant, call Magnolia Plumbing, Heating & Cooling. We provide air conditioner services throughout Washington, DC.