Skip navigation


Free Estimates on New Systems! No Overtime Fee!

Cooling Sarasota & Manatee Counties Since 1970


McDonald Home Services Blog

The Science Behind Your Refrigerant

Refrigerant is the centerpiece of your HVAC system. It’s essentially where all of the magic happens, and is directly responsible for the conversion of temperatures within your home. For the pivotal role that it plays in your home’s comfort, it’s essential to understand this component of your HVAC system and how its function impacts you.

What Is Refrigerant?

Refrigerant is a liquid or gaseous chemical that is used to keep things cool. When combined with other devices such as compressors and evaporators, it absorbs heat from the surrounding air and can be utilized to provide refrigeration or air conditioning.

How Refrigerant Works In Your HVAC System

Air conditioners use the same scientific principles and basic concepts as your home refrigerator. The system uses energy, typically in the form of electricity, to transfer heat from the interior of the refrigerator to its warm surroundings. An air conditioning system functions under the same principle, using energy to transfer heat from the inside of your home to the outdoors.

It does this using a chemical refrigerant, which evaporates and condenses at different temperatures. In order for your air conditioner to function properly, the refrigerant must be kept in a closed loop between the indoor and outdoor units.

The refrigerant cycle begins when the low-pressure gas in the evaporator coil is drawn into the compressor. The compressor increases the pressure and temperature of the gas, which then enters the condenser coil. Here, the refrigerant is cooled by contact with the air passing over the coils, and it changes back into a liquid. This liquid flows back to the evaporator coils, where it begins the process again.

Types of Refrigerant

There are four common types of refrigerant used in air conditioners: chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), and HFOs.  

CFCs and HCFCs were once the most common type of refrigerant, but they are being phased out due to their harmful effects on the environment. HFCs are currently the most popular type of refrigerant, but they also have negative environmental impacts. HFOs are a newer type of refrigerant that is considered more environmentally friendly than HFCs.

Choosing the Right Refrigerant for Your AC Unit

The type of refrigerant used in your air conditioner will affect its performance and efficiency. If you need to replace your air conditioner, be sure to choose one that uses a refrigerant that is compatible with your current system.

If you are unsure which refrigerant is right for your AC unit, consult a technician. They will be able to help you choose the right refrigerant and ensure that your system is compatible.

Refrigerant is an essential component of your HVAC system, and it plays a key role in the conversion of temperatures. By understanding how refrigerant works, you can better understand how your air conditioner operates. Be sure to consult with a qualified technician if you have any questions about your HVAC system or refrigerant.

Need air conditioning repair in Palmetto, FL?

Call Jim McDonald & Sons Heating & Cooling Inc. Cooling Sarasota and Manatee Counties since 1970.

Comments are closed.