Every St. Louis area homeowner who has experienced the comfort of an indoor air conditioner can thank refrigerants for much of the cooling process. So what is air conditioner refrigerant, how is it used and what do you need to know about it when maintaining your cooling system?

How air conditioner refrigerant is used

On a very basic level, an air conditioner operates by transferring heat from one place to another. During the cooling season, it takes the heat from inside your home and transfers it outside, thus lowering the temperature indoors.

Air conditioner refrigerant is what makes this heat transfer possible. Refrigerant begins in a liquid state in the condenser outside your home. From there, the liquid refrigerant is pumped into your air conditioner’s evaporator coil, which is located inside your home. Here, the low pressure causes the refrigerant to evaporate into a vapor and absorb heat.

Once the refrigerant has evaporated and absorbed heat from inside your home, it travels back outside to the condenser where the heat is released and the refrigerant turns back into a liquid. From there, the cycle continues and the air conditioner refrigerant is pumped back indoors to transfer more heat.

How to maintain proper refrigerant levels

As you can tell, refrigerant plays an essential role in the operation of your air conditioner. That’s why it’s important to ensure your unit is running efficiently by maintaining proper refrigerant levels.

If your refrigerant levels are too high or low, it’s likely because a technician added the wrong amount of refrigerant during installation or you’re experiencing a refrigerant leak. In either case, the best way to maintain proper refrigerant levels is to have annual preventive maintenance performed on your air conditioner.

During preventive maintenance, your technician will check your refrigerant levels and inspect your system for any possible leaks. This is important not just for your unit, but also for the environment because refrigerant leaks contribute to ozone depletion.

If you have any questions about air conditioner refrigerants, or if you’d like your unit properly serviced by a NATE-certified technician, contact Jerry Kelly Heating & Air Conditioning, your St. Louis area heating and cooling company.

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