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Serving the Texas Hill Country for over 40 years


Does the Refrigerant in My AC System Run Out?

We are pretty used to mechanical systems needing and using fuel for power. As such, when it comes to your whole home air conditioning system, it’s natural to assume the same thing happens with the refrigerant. However, it doesn’t. Refrigerant isn’t a fuel, it’s a chemical that facilitates the transfer of heat, which is why it is so critical to the cooling process. And every air conditioner is made to work with an exact amount of refrigerant, as required by the manufacturer. So how is refrigerant used? Let’s take a look.

Changing States

The reason refrigerant is ideal for transferring heat is that it changes states very easily between a liquid and a gas, depending on its temperature. When refrigerant is in a high pressure, gaseous state, it releases heat; when it is in a cool gaseous or liquid state, it absorbs heat. This ability to change between states is critical to the heat release/cooling process that conditions your home’s air.

A Closed System

Many electro-mechanical systems are “closed,” meaning they are self-contained units. Your air conditioner is also a closed system. Closed systems tend to operate in cycles, which your air conditioner certainly does: it releases heat, then cools and conditions the air. As such, the refrigerant follows this cycle; it isn’t used up like gas or oil, but rather is a transfer agent.

How Can Refrigerant Levels Become Altered

There are two ways in which refrigerant can be of an incorrect amount: a leak develops which decreases the amount in the system, or a recharge of the refrigerant was excessive. In either case, the level will have to be corrected to the exact amount needed according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

As you can see, refrigerant is an important part of the basic operation of your air conditioning system. If you suspect you may have an issue with your refrigerant, call the experts at D’Spain Sales & Service, Inc., today and schedule a repair appointment for your AC in Fredericksburg, TX.

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