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HVAC Blog by Envirotech Air Quality Services
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What Does Your Refrigerant Do?

air conditioner with tools on top and technician's hands working on itHaving a good air conditioning system when you live in Florida is vital for your home and your comfort. This is especially true with how much extra time people are spending in their homes. One of the things that your Boca Raton, FL air conditioning system needs to do its job is refrigerant.

If you aren’t sure what refrigerant is or what its role is, we want to give you some extra information so you can understand why it is important and know how to determine when something is wrong with yours.

Refrigerant as Fuel: A Common Misconception

We want to start here because we run into this train of thought a lot and it causes trouble for many people. Contrary to what some may believe, refrigerant is not a fuel that gets used up and has to be “topped off” every few months. Your air conditioner uses electricity as its “fuel,” not the refrigerant. With that in mind, you can realize that a lower level of refrigerant in your system isn’t normal!

Refrigerant is a Transfer Medium: The Truth

So, if refrigerant isn’t a fuel, then what is it? Well, refrigerant is what is known as a transfer medium. A transfer medium is something that can be used for the transfer of thermal energy or heat. In the case of your air conditioner, your refrigerant absorbs heat out of the air from your home that is blown over your AC unit’s evaporator coil. This allows that heat to be transported and released outside of your home, providing you with cool air.

Why Low Refrigerant is Bad News

Now that you know what refrigerant is mean to do, you are likely going to have a better understanding of why low refrigerant is bad news for your comfort. If your air conditioner doesn’t have enough refrigerant in it then it will hinder the cooling process.

What’s more low refrigerant can cause additional problems for your AC system, such as short cycling and the build-up of ice on the evaporator coil. Both of these issues are going to increase the wear and tear on your air conditioner, leading to additional repair needs and even putting it at risk for an early replacement.

How to Tell You Are Low on Refrigerant

Knowing that a low level of refrigerant in your AC unit is bad is one thing. Figuring out how to detect a leak before it starts to create some of these serious problems is better. Here are some warning signs to be on the alert for:

  • A bubbling or hissing sound
  • Visual signs of a leak
  • Increasing energy bills
  • Longer cooling cycles without results
  • An increase in indoor humidity

You don’t want to leave a refrigerant leak unattended especially because it can be so hard on your system. If you notice any signs of a refrigerant leak in your air conditioner, you will need to schedule repairs as soon as you can. This should be done by a professional like the ones on our team.

Contact Envirotech Air Quality Services to schedule an appointment today.

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