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Atlantic Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, Inc. Blog

How Does Refrigerant Cool the Air?

Modern air conditioning begins and ends with refrigerant, a catch-all term used to describe various types of chemical compounds that constantly circulate through your system. Refrigerant is marked by a fairly low boiling point temperature-wise and an ability to pull heat from the surrounding air as it shifts from liquid to gaseous form. The air conditioning system simply takes advantage of that fact. Here in Dover, De, our hot summers mean that you need your air conditioner need to be functioning at its peak at all times. Understanding how refrigerant cools the air can go a long way towards understanding what kinds of problems may arise with your system.

The Process

Refrigerant basically passes through two “stations” in your system, cycling through them again and again in a constant loop. The first section – the compressor array – is usually located outside your home. It shifts the refrigerant to liquid form (releasing heat into the outside air in the process) and subjects it to a great deal of pressure. It then moves to the second station – the evaporator coils – where it shifts back to gaseous form and cools the air surrounding the coils in the process. The refrigerant then moves back to the compressor array to start the cycle again while the cool air gets pushed into your home with a high powered fan.

What Happens When Trouble Arises

That process relies on a very specific type of refrigerant in a very specific amount, tailored to your specific air conditioning system. When leaks spring up and the refrigerant levels go do, the entire process is knocked off kilter. Frost forms on the coils – representing lost cooling potential – and the system as a whole has to work harder in order to do its job. That will increase your monthly cooling bills considerably, as well as raising the risk of a more substantial breakdown in the future.

If you have problems with low refrigerant levels, call the experts at Atlantic Refrigeration and Air Conditioning today!

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