We’ve written a lot of blogs about refrigerant. It’s a substance that is central to this industry, and there are decisions being made right now about which refrigerant will be the next big one for future AC systems on the market. R-454B, for example, is looking like a strong contender to replace R-410A, but many special interest groups are lobbying for this decision currently. While we can’t tell you the future, we can tell you why this is such a big deal.
Refrigerant is a powerful force for air conditioning. It’s the whole reason why we’re able to use AC systems and cool our homes. If we tried to replace our AC system’s refrigerant with water, for example, we’d run into a whole host of issues.
Keep reading to learn more about refrigerant and your air conditioning in Orlando, FL. Just make sure that you call us if you have any additional questions after this blog post!
What Is Refrigerant?
Let’s tackle this topic one big idea at a time. First, we need to talk about why we use refrigerant at all. What exactly is refrigerant and why is it inside our air conditioning systems?
Refrigerant is a hydrofluorocarbon, a material that basically can turn from liquid to gas with relatively low energy input. Think of it like water that can boil with only a slight increase in temperature or pressure. Then, by lowering the temperature or pressure a bit, it turns right back into a liquid. This high transferability between gas and liquid means that refrigerant can quickly and assuredly absorb heat and release it on command!
Most AC systems use Puron these days, but some older units use Freon. The material that composes our refrigerant is always changing, for eco-friendly and efficiency reasons.
Why Can’t We Just Use Water?
This is a good question! What’s the point of using a refrigerant that can potentially pollute the environment, when water can turn into a gas or liquid just as well? Well, the answer is efficiency.
The amount of energy required to turn water from a liquid to a gas is substantially higher than the energy required to do the same thing to a refrigerant. Water has a high specific heat, which means that it retains energy in each form very well. This is why water is a better method for heating a home since it will remain hot, even when temperatures are much colder outdoors.
Refrigerants require much less energy to pressurize, meaning they’re better suited for cooling air.
Better Refrigerant for Newer Products
We’ve talked about refrigerants pretty broadly in this blog post, and that’s for a very specific reason. Refrigerants are always changing, and HVAC companies like Daikin and Mitsubishi are always looking to create refrigerants that are less dense and more powerful. The less dense a refrigerant is, the less of an impact it will have on the environment down the road. And, the easier it can be transferred from gas to liquid, the more energy-efficient your AC system will run!
Need help with your refrigerant leak or AC issue? Call Gary Munson Heating & Air Conditioning. You will be more comfortable with the best!