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Roadrunner Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing Blog

How Your Air Conditioner Uses Refrigerant

If you read anything about air conditioning, you are liable to come across references to refrigerant. Refrigerant is the lifeblood of your air conditioning system, without which it wouldn’t be able to cool down your home. Though many people understand the importance of refrigerant to air conditioning system, few understand how it actually works. In the interest of increasing your knowledge about a system that you probably use frequently, especially during the summer, let’s take a look at how refrigerant helps your air conditioner operate.

What Is Refrigerant?

Refrigerant doesn’t exist—at least not as one substance. It is actually a very broad term that refers to a number of heat transfer fluids, each with more or less the same purpose. Refrigerant works by evaporating to absorb heat from the surrounding air, then condensing to release it somewhere else. The air conditioner’s evaporator coil evaporates refrigerant to take heat from your home’s air, then sends it to the condenser coil outside. There, the refrigerant is condensed to release the heat into the surrounding environment, and the cycle restarts. Without the refrigerant, the air conditioner is more or less just a giant set of fans.

Problems Related to Refrigerant

Since your air conditioner more or less cannot operate without refrigerant, the biggest problem that can affect it is a leak in the refrigerant line. If a leak develops in the line, the refrigerant level in the system will slowly drop until the air conditioner breaks down. Symptoms to look for include liquid dripping from the system, and a loss of cool air output. Call for repairs as soon as you suspect a problem is occurring with your air conditioner.

If your air conditioner is experiencing problems, call Roadrunner Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration. We serve the entire Santa Fe, NM area.

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