What Is A Refrigerant in an HVAC System?

An HVAC system is a complex machine. It requires many parts to work together in order to heat and cool your home. One of the most important parts of an HVAC system is the refrigerant, which helps keep the air fresh by removing pollutants, such as bacteria and odor. The refrigerant also keeps your AC running smoothly, while preventing it from leaking or freezing in extreme weather conditions like hot summers or cold winters.

This article post takes a look what role a refrigerant plays in your HVAC system and different types of refrigerants that are commonly used.

What Is A Refrigerant?

Refrigerants cycle through air conditioners and change from liquid to gas as they absorb the heat in their surroundings. Nowadays, unlike R22, refrigerants are safe with no ozone-depleting effects.

The refrigerant is found inside the copper coils in an AC. Refrigerants absorb the heat from the indoor and transitions it from low pressure gas to high-pressure liquid. The components of your air conditioner then send the refrigerant outside, where it’s blown over by fans.

Types of Refrigerants


R22 is a harsh chemical that has been linked to ozone depletion and other environmental damages. It was used as the refrigerant in air conditioners. The Environmental Protection Agency was long concerned about the effects of R22 on ozone depletion. In 2010, they passed a bill that outlawed many air conditioning systems from using it by 2020.


Chlorofluorocarbons like R12 are one type of refrigerant used in air conditioners. However, they’ve also been shown to contribute to the greenhouse gas effects, which is harmful to our environment. With that in mind, manufacturers stopped using it as a refrigerant and production ceased until 1994 when their stocks were depleted.


R410A is the new and improved refrigerant for ACs. It’s less harmful to the environment than R22 while still providing all of its cooling power; in fact, it’s more efficient. You’ll also notice that Puron-powered systems offer better air quality as well as increased comfort levels due to reduced moisture on surfaces inside your home or office building.

However, these benefits come with a price: any system currently running on R22 won’t be able to run this newer technology without an upgrade or replacement coming first.

Which Refrigerant To Use?

To make sure your air conditioner is operating efficiently, it’s important to keep track of which type of refrigerant each appliance needs. Refrigerants are labeled on the outside and inside of appliances with a large sticker or plate that says what kind they need.

It’s vital to check these stickers before replacing any liquids because different types cannot be mixed together without damaging the system. This would cause irreversible damage.

Source by Mike Petty

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