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A-Avis Home Services Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. Blog

How the Right Level of Refrigerant Keeps Your Home Cool

When your home air conditioning is providing you with a comfortable temperature during the hot California days, you’ll primarily notice the fans and the motors doing the work. After all, they are what produce the soothing white noise that comes from your AC. But the reason your air conditioner can provide you with cooled air is something you probably rarely notice: the refrigerant cycling through it. Refrigerant allows an AC to exchange heat, moving the hot air out of your home to the outside. Problems with refrigerant will mean a loss of cooling efficiency, and require professional repairs. If you experience any trouble with your air conditioning in Riverside, CA, contact Avis Plumbing, Heating and Air today.

In the early history of the electric air conditioner, the refrigerant was usually ammonia, propane, or ethyl chloride—flammable and toxic gases. Fortunately, science developed safer chemical compounds such as Freon, and today’s ACs operate with few safety concerns. If you have a newer model in your home, it most likely uses a refrigerant called R-401A, which was designed to pose little ozone-depletion risk.

Refrigerant moves in a closed system around your air conditioner, changing from a gas to a liquid and back again as it cycles heat. The compressor squeezes the refrigerant into a high pressure gas, which then moves to the condenser unit—the outdoor portion of your air conditioner—where the heat dissipates to the outside. The cooled down refrigerant changes into a liquid and moves into the evaporator unit, the interior section of the AC. There it begins to evaporate, drawing heat out of the air inside your home. The refrigerant then returns to the compressor to restart the process.

Refrigerant does not get used up during this heat exchange: the amount inside your air conditioner, known as the refrigerant’s “charge,” will remain constant during normal operation. However, a damaged or improperly maintained air conditioner can develop leaks that let refrigerant escape. A lowered charge can lead to icing on the evaporator coils and a subsequent loss of cooling power.

Fixing problems with refrigerant isn’t something you should attempt yourself. It requires a professional to seal up leaks and recharge the refrigerant to its correct level so it will give you the cool temperature you need. If you suspect that your AC has lost its refrigerant charge, call Avis Plumbing, Heating and Air today. We have six decades of Riverside, CA air conditioning service experience, and can handle refrigerant trouble and any other problems you have beating the heat.

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