You sure do appreciate your Dayton home’s central AC or heat pump when the temperature outside is too cool or too warm. Have you ever wondered how your central air system works and keeps your home comfortable? It could help you maintain your HVAC system for optimal performance. The remarkable ingredient in your HVAC unit that makes air conditioning possible is the refrigerant. Read on to learn how it works.
What Is Refrigerant?
Refrigerant is a generic term for a chemical blend that is used in HVAC systems. Refrigerants have come in a variety of chemical blends over the years. Originally, the chemical blends were toxic and combustible. Other blends, such as R-22, were found to deplete the ozone layer. Currently, home HVAC systems use R-410A refrigerants, which are ozone-safe.
The role R-410A chemical blend plays in HVAC systems is absorbing and releasing heat energy in an alternating state of gas and liquid respectively. The result of this heat transfer in forced-air systems is home cooling and heating. If your HVAC system was manufactured before 2010, it likely uses ozone-depleting R-22. You would be wise to upgrade to a modern high-efficiency HVAC system that uses R-410A for better performance.
How Refrigerants Work in HVAC Systems
Since refrigerants can easily shift between liquid and gas states without using a large amount of energy, they are ideal for residential HVAC systems. In fact, without refrigerants, there wouldn’t be modern air conditioning. What follows are the basic workings of HVAC cooling using refrigerants:
- Compressor. The compressor pressurizes and raises the temperature of refrigerant.
- Condenser coil. The condenser coil releases liquid-refrigerant heat energy outdoors (in AC cycle).
- Expansion valve. The expansion valve reduces pressure as the refrigerant moves to the indoor evaporator coil.
- Evaporator coil. Refrigerant enters the evaporator coil and evaporates into a very cold gas. The cold gas absorbs heat energy from ducted airflow. The cooled air is blown through supply ducts to cool your home.
When you need HVAC service to check refrigerant levels and optimize HVAC efficiency, contact the HVAC professionals at Detmer and Sons.