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HVAC refrigerant rundown

How Your System Works | An HVAC Refrigerant Rundown

February 28, 2018

Even though it’s February, we’re only a few months away from triple digit temperatures. When it comes to the Texas summer, we all know having a fully functioning air conditioner isn’t optional – but how does it work? What is really happening when your HVAC system is lowering the temperature in your home? At Aero Designed Systems, we believe you should know what’s going on under your roof – here’s a quick rundown on how your system operates and how your HVAC refrigerant plays a major part:

Many people think that your air conditioner is blowing cool air into your home and over time, that’s what cools your home. This line of thinking isn’t quite correct – instead of introducing new cold air into your home, your system is extracting humidity and reintroducing the (then cooled) air back in. You’re actually removing the heat from your home rather than just adding cold air. Paired with this understanding, you should know that your home is cooled by the coolant changing form from gas to liquid and subsequently back to gas, starting the process all over again – allow us to explain:

The warm air in your home rises towards the ceiling and is drawn into your system through a vent. The warm air is routed through your ducts and passes through coils filled with coolant, rapidly lowering the temperature of the air before it is reintroduced back into your home. The cycling of the HVAC refrigerant is where the real magic happens:

  • The coils within your air conditioning system have coolant being constantly cycled through them.  This refrigerant evaporates within the coils, resulting in the rapid drop in temperature.
  • The HVAC refrigerant (now in gas form) is pumped to the compressor, normally located outside of the residence.  The gas is compressed into a liquid, raising the temperature even more, and is propelled into the condenser.
  • While passing through the condenser, the heat dissipates through the vents you see on the outside of the external unit, and the coolant drops in temperature.
  • After being condensed, the coolant then passes through the evaporator.  The liquid is forced through a very small opening into coils and is subjected to a drastic drop in pressure, allowing the liquid to return to its original gas form.
  • Once the coolant has evaporated, it rapidly cools the coils housing it, and the cycle begins once again.

HVAC refrigerant is what makes it possible to keep your home comfortable in the middle of a Texas heatwave. Without it, we’d all still be using swamp coolers all summer! As we make our way further into 2018, we’ll cover more components of your HVAC system and help you wrap your head around how your system really works and why every piece of the system is so vital. We’ll see you next month for another installment and if you have any questions about your current system, give us a call!

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