Freon is a name brand of a non-flammable, colorless chemical more commonly known as refrigerant, or R-22. Depending on pressure levels and temperature, freon can either be a gas or a liquid. If Freon is at room temperature it’s a gas, but once cooled or under pressure, it turns into liquid.
Much like the term “Kleenex,” while Freon is a specfic type of refrigerant the term “Freon” is often used outside of the HVAC field to refer to refrigerant in general. Keep in mind that Freon/R-22 has been mostly phased out in the United States and is not used by AA Temperature Services.
How Freon affects the environment
According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s website, Freon was first produced back in 1936. Since then, scientists and environmentalists have discovered the toll that Freon takes on the environment and its effects on the ozone layer in the atmosphere. The ozone layer blocks harmful UV rays that could potentially cause skin cancer and cataracts according to the EPA. Not only does the depletion of the ozone layer affect humans, but it can harm wildlife, plants, and ocean ecosystems. Since it was discovered how refrigerant affects the environment, humans, and wildlife, there have been measures taken to phase out the use of Freon and other harmful chemicals.
In fact — as we mentioned earlier — Freon has mostly been phased out in new equipment. It has been replaced with safer alternatives, such as R-410A (also known as Puron and by many other trade names.)
AA Temperature Services utilizes R-410A currently, and we are committed to adapt to changing regulations and recommendations for safe and approved refigerant use over time.
What is refrigerant used for?
Ever wonder how your air conditioner cools the air in your home? Well, this process wouldn’t be possible without refrigerant! Refrigerant flows throughout the main components of your A/C system, absorbing heat and humidity as it does so. As the heat is absorbed, the refrigerant changes into a gas and travels out of your home and into the compressor; this is the part of your A/C system that sits outside. As the wind blows throughout the day and past the compressor, the refrigerant cools and turns back into a liquid state. The cycle repeats itself multiple times a day providing cool air throughout your home.
Do I need a refrigerant recharge or “top off?”
As long as your A/C doesn’t have a leak, you should never have to “top off” or “recharge” your refrigerant! If the air coming from your vents isn’t cold, this could be a sign that there is a refrigerant leak.
Overcharging refrigerant could lead to costly repairs in the future. Plus, getting a recharge won’t resolve the underlying issues with your system, costing you more in the long run both in time and money.
So what do I do if I have a refrigerant leak?
The best thing you can do is call AA Temperature Services and set up an in-home diagnosis ac repair visit. Our technicians can determine exactly what the problem is with your system and either recommend a route to get it repaired, or recommend a replacement AC system.