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The Wizard of Blizzard


Sapulpa, OK HVAC Experts since 2012


JC Mechanical Blog

Our Helpful Refrigerant FAQ

What exactly is refrigerant? How does a refrigerant recharge work? What happens if you constantly need to recharge the refrigerant in your air conditioner?

These are all great questions, but we can’t just answer them in one word, or even one paragraph. We’re really going to have to discuss these in greater detail. Refrigerant is a core aspect of cooling (and in the case of heat pumps–heating), and in order to know how your air conditioner functions, you’ll need a crash course in refrigerant.

Today, we’re going to talk about refrigerant–what it is and why it’s so important for a cooling system. We’ll hopefully answer all of your budding questions. And, if you think your AC needs a refrigerant recharge or a professional diagnosis, contact our team for AC repair in Sapulpa, OK.

What Exactly Is Refrigerant?

Let’s start with the basics. Refrigerant is a term that we use to refer to a variety of certain chemical compounds that are responsible for one big process: evaporation and condensation. That’s essentially all they do, but it’s the key to the cooling process.

In the old days, refrigerant used to be called “Freon” and it’s chemical name was “R-22.” Since 2020, Freon has actually been replaced by a refrigerant called “Puron” that’s also known as “R-410A, which is much better for the environment by a wide margin. This material is a hydrofluorocarbon, which means it’s exceptionally good at evaporating and condensing over time.

Why Is Refrigerant So Important?

Remember how we mentioned that refrigerant needs to evaporate and condense? This is how the cooling process works.

Your air conditioner evaporates the refrigerant which draws in heat from your home. Then, it cycles the gaseous refrigerant to the outside cabinet (known as the condenser) where it condenses the refrigerant back into a liquid. This releases the heat outside so your home essentially stays cool.

Why Not Just Use Water?

Many customers get confused at the idea of requiring a special material for evaporation and condensation. Why don’t we just use water which is widely available and cheap?

While we’re used to seeing water evaporate and condense naturally, it actually takes a lot of energy for this process to take place. Pressurizing water to the point where it evaporates takes energy which would make using it as a refrigerant extremely expensive. Refrigerant, on the other hand, evaporates much more easily and with less energy involved. It’s just much more affordable and efficient to use refrigerant for a cooling system.

Does My AC Consume Refrigerant?

No. Your air conditioner does not consume refrigerant, which means that if it is low on refrigerant levels, it has sprung a leak!

Every AC is installed with the right amount of refrigerant required for its entire lifespan. Any time a professional tells you that your system needs more refrigerant, it means that a leak needs to be patched up as well.

What Sound Does Refrigerant Make When It Leaks?

Notice a strange hissing and bubbling sound coming from your AC? This is the sound of leaking refrigerant, and it’s a big sign that you need to call someone for professional repairs. That noise is almost always associated with refrigerant leaks, and a leak should only be addressed by a pro.

Do yourself a favor and contact The Wizard of Blizzard today. JC Mechanical is your premier team of AC professionals that can fix your refrigerant leak.

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